Brilliant...now for the final push

BRILLIANT. That s the best way to desribe the efforts for our Christmas Toy Appeal this year. It has been an excellent week for the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas campaign for 2009. But now comes the toughest bit, achieving our total in j

BRILLIANT. That's the best way to desribe the efforts for our Christmas Toy Appeal this year. It has been an excellent week for the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas campaign for 2009.

But now comes the toughest bit, achieving our total in just seven more days.

We have now amassed the equivalent of almost 9,800 gifts, which is a great achievement.

It means we are almost three-quarters of the way towards our target.


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But now comes the hard graft, writes COLIN GRAINGER.

We still need another 3,700 toys to ensure no child is left out at this special time of year.

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But we now have less than one week to reach our target. And that works out that we need 525 toys EVERY DAY between now and December 23.

It really is a massive task as for the 32nd year we run the appeal in conjunction with the group that is at the heart of local life in our borough, care organisation Community Links.

Toys and donations have come in from all quarters of the borough as you can read on this page. But we need more now.

The BMF Better Biking Region 5 team with help from the BMF, Essex HOG, VSOC and riders who want to make a difference, made a very special effort, which you can read about on this page.

Kevin Jenkins, Links Co-Founder Senior Advisor, said: "The appeal for local disadvantaged children aims to provide for each child referred, a bag of gifts to open on Christmas morning. The children are referred by a combination of all Newham's caring and family support organisations ensuring that the appeal reaches those most in need.

"Links and the Recorder run the appeal for the whole borough and it is recognised across Newham as the major bringer of Christmas happiness to Newham's most disadvantaged."

Mayor Sir Robin Wales made his own donation to the campaign and now we need you to do the same.

Added Kevin: "This year the level of need is far greater than ever before due to the effects of the recession on local unemployment.

"Even more concerning is that many of our regular business supporters have either gone out of business or become unstable and will not be in a position to help this year."

Newham Council staff have also been collecting toys for the appeal.

Those at the new Building 2000 Dockside have been placing toys in special boxes left in every department of the building.

And next week staff will also be staging what they have dubbed Bucket Days, where they will be going round the building in fancy dress, collecting cash for our vital campaign. Thank you so much.

l Generous shoppers at Asda who filled trolleys to overflowing with donations of toys dropped off at the Beckton store.

We need YOUR help and we need it NOW. Please do all you can.

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