The appeal has brought joy to thousands of youngsters across the county since it was first held in 2015. And now it is back for the first time since coronavirus restrictions were imposed in 2020.
More than 5,000 sick, needy and disabled children have received Christmas presents as a result of the appeal since its first launch.
This year we are teaming up for the first time with Shropshire-based brewery Joules, which will be providing collection points at a number of its pubs.
We are appealing for our generous readers to help out by donating brand new toys, games, toiletries or other gifts suitable for children and teenagers.
Oli Young, manager of Joules’ Red Lion tap house adjoining the brewery at Market Drayton, said he was thrilled to be able to help.
“Pubs are part of the community, and we want to try our best to help the many disadvantaged children and families in the area,” he said.
“There are many children who might not be able to enjoy the kind of Christmas the rest of us have, so we hope, and we hope to be able to bring them a bit of happiness over the festive period.”
Donations to the appeal will be shared between four organisations that provide support to children in the county.
The Harry Johnson Trust, which provides support to children being treated for cancer, The Movement Centre, which provides therapy for children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, and the children’s ward at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals trust will all receive donations. Telford Young Carers, which provide support for youngsters who have to provide care for a loved one suffering an illness or disability, will also benefit from the appeal.
Sally Johnson, who founded The Harry Johnson Trust in memory of her son, said: “Very often, when a child is diagnosed with cancer it means that one or both of the parents will have to give up work, and that may mean there is very little money left for Christmas. This will make a real difference. Toys or toiletries that are donated will be given to children by the ward staff who know them so well.”
Laura Thorogood, of Telford Young Carers, said the appeal would make a huge difference, providing a treat for children who have difficult lives.
Where to donate
Shropshire Star, Grosvenor House, Central Park, Hollinswood Rd, Telford, TF2 9TW
Telford & Wrekin CVS, Hazeldine House, Central Square, Telford TF3 4JL
Red Lion, Great Hales Street, Market Drayton, TF9 1JP
King’s Arms, 53, High Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6BY
Crown Wharf, Crown Street, Stone, ST15 8QN
The White Horse, 7, Wenlock Rd, Shrewsbury, SY2 6JJ
Please ensure your donations are new
Charities that will benefit
Children’s ward, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust
Toys will be distributed among children who will be in the hospital over the Christmas period. Our last appeal provided a present for every child who was in hospital over Christmas Day.
The Harry Johnson Trust
Founded by Sally and Stephen Johnson in memory of their son Harry, this charity supports about 50 children with cancer across Shropshire and Mid Wales.
The charity provides a hamper of essential items for each child admitted to the cancer unit at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, as well as treats and short breaks in the Shropshire area for the children and their families.
The Movement Centre
Based at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen, this charity uses a pioneering therapy to help children with mobility problems caused by illnesses such as cerebral palsy. In the past, the toy appeal has been able to provide the youngsters with ‘sensory’ gifts, such as those which make sounds or light up, which have helped the children with their therapy.
Telford Young Carers
This charity provides support for children who have to care for others. This may be a brother, sister, mother or father who is suffering from an illness or disability. The charity says young carers often feel socially isolated, so it organises events where they can meet other youngsters going through similar experiences.