Hundreds of gifts donated to Toy Appeal by kind-hearted readers

Bournemouth Echo: SANTA’S SACK: Phil Carey, centre, joins Daily Echo staff and Father Christmas with toys and presents that have been donated SANTA’S SACK: Phil Carey, centre, joins Daily Echo staff and Father Christmas with toys and presents that have been donated

TOYS donated by generous Daily Echo readers are being collected by organisations and charities ahead of Christmas.

The paper’s 17th annual Christmas toy appeal has sparked a huge response, with hundreds of gifts for those in need brought in already.

The initiative aims to ensure that no one in Dorset will go without a present this festive season, and gifts will be distributed to the victims of domestic violence, young people in children’s homes and infants in hospital, among others.

Great-grandfather Phil Carey, who organises the event, said: “We have already started distributing presents to the refuges in Bournemouth and Poole.

“Everything is going very well indeed and we’re delighted with the excellent response we’ve had already.”

Gifts can be dropped off at the Daily Echo offices in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, and at the Dolphin Centre in Poole.

They will also be collected at the Lighthouse in Poole, and Boots stores in the Sovereign Centre, Commercial Road in Bournemouth, the Dolphin Centre, Wimborne Road in Winton and Saxon Square in Christchurch.

For the first time, around 100 presents donated to the Daily Echo offices will be given to children forced to stay in hospital over Christmas through the Amelia-Grace Rainbow Fund. The charity was set up after eight-year-old Amelia-Grace Cooper died of an aggressive form of childhood cancer three years ago.

Phil, 92, said: “Next week, we’re taking toys to the Salvation Army in Boscombe for youngsters there.

“It’s always a Christmas highlight to see the children’s faces when they are handed a present.”

The appeal will continue until Friday, December 20.

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