Shropshire Star Toy Appeal brings happiness to children who care for loved ones

Sue Last describes the reaction she gets when youngsters receive their gifts from the Shropshire Star's Christmas Toy Appeal.

Members of the Telford Young Carers team supporting our toy appeal: Lucie Roberjot and Laura Thorogood, seated, and Claire Alford and Sue Last, standing
Members of the Telford Young Carers team supporting our toy appeal: Lucie Roberjot and Laura Thorogood, seated, and Claire Alford and Sue Last, standing

"They are absolutely over the moon," says Sue, of Telford Young Carers.

"Lots of these children are looking after one, or sometimes two disabled parents.

"They are probably coming from low-income families, and for them to be able to get presents is just fantastic."

Telford Young Carers is one of four organisations we are supporting for this year's Christmas Toy Appeal, with the other beneficiaries being the children's ward at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust, The Harry Johnson Trust for youngsters with cancer, and The Movement Centre for children with conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Since the appeal was launched in 2015, we have distributed more than 5,000 toys to good causes across Shropshire and Mid Wales. And this year, for the first time, we are teaming up with our friends at Joule's brewery, with four pubs across the region collecting toys too.

The Telford Young Carers' base at Hazeldine House, near the former Debenhams building in Telford town centre, is also providing a drop-off point.

Sue Last, second from right, collecting toys on behalf of Telford Young Carers from one of our previous toy appeals

Sue says the organisation, part of Telford & Wrekin CVS, provides support to 500 young people across the borough, some of them as young as five.

She says it is a joy to see the children receive their presents, adding that they appreciate even the smallest gifts.

"We asked some of the children what they would like for Christmas, and one of them said a basketball," she says.

"You speak to some children, and they want this IT, and they want that, but these children are excited just to be receiving anything, they are so appreciative."

Shropshire Star and Joule's Christmas Toy Appeal

The organisation holds a youth club for the youngsters, both for those of primary school and secondary school ages, and Sue hopes that Santa will be able to visit one of the clubs to give the children their gifts. They will be delivered to the homes of some of the more vulnerable youngsters.

"For children aged five to be looking after disabled parents, or those with mental health issues, is quite a responsibility," she says.

"The youth club gives them a bit of respite, and the chance to be children.

"Often the moment they come home from school, they have to start caring for their parents."

We are appealing for our generous readers to donate brand new toys, games, books, puzzles or other gifts for youngsters and teenagers of all age groups.

We are also asking businesses who are able to help, either by donating toys and gifts, or collecting them for the appeal, to get in touch on 01952 241491.

Donations can be dropped off at the following collection points:

Telford:

  • Shropshire Star, Grosvenor House, Central Park, Hollinswood Road, Telford, TF2 9TW

  • Telford & Wrekin CVS, Hazeldine House, Central Square, Telford TF3 4JL

Shrewsbury

  • The White Horse, 7, Wenlock Rd, Shrewsbury, SY2 6JJ

Market Drayton

  • The Red Lion, Great Hales Street, Market Drayton, TF9 1JP

Church Stretton

  • King’s Arms, 53, High Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6BY

Stone

  • The Crown Wharf, Crown Street, Stone, ST15 8QN

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