Christmas season extended thanks to bumper Daily Echo Toy Appeal donations

Bournemouth Echo: WORTHY CAUSE: Phil Carey, centre, visited The Boscombe Salvation Army  Parents and Toddlers group  where children are some of the recipients of toys WORTHY CAUSE: Phil Carey, centre, visited The Boscombe Salvation Army Parents and Toddlers group where children are some of the recipients of toys

PRESENTS donated to needy families through the Daily Echo’s toy appeal will mean Christmas comes more than once this year.

The number of gifts brought in by generous readers means that the social services will be able to keep some toys until after the festive season.

They will be used for birthday presents to ensure no one has to go without even after the tree is taken down this year.

On Thursday, family support workers from Bournemouth Borough Council’s Family Solutions Team collected a huge bag of presents from the Daily Echo offices in Richmond Hill.

Lee Bayliss from the team said: “We greatly appreciate all the presents that have been donated as part of the appeal.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to see the generosity of Bournemouth residents. There are so many here that we’ll be able to keep some aside as birthday presents for children who wouldn’t otherwise have anything at all.”

His colleague, Hannah Eaton, said: “We work with children and young people aged from babies to 18 years old.

“It’s really fantastic to be able to make sure everyone will have a present for Christmas.”

Thousands of presents have now been donated to the appeal, which is now in its 17th year.

Great-grandfather Phil Carey, 92, who organises the initiative, said: “Father Christmas will come this year because of the people who read the Daily Echo.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by presents. It’s fantastic. I’d like to ask people to keep the gifts coming in – they will all find a home with someone who needs it.”

For the first time this year, the appeal will ensure around 100 poorly children who have to stay in hospital this Christmas will be given a present through the Amelia-Grace Rainbow Fund.

The charity was set up in the wake of eight-year-old Amelia-Grace Cooper’s death of an aggressive childhood cancer three years ago.

Where to leave items

Please drop your presents at the Daily Echo offices in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, or at the Dolphin Centre in Poole.

Toys are also being collected at the Lighthouse in Poole, or at Boots in the Sovereign Centre, Boscombe, Commercial Road in Bournemouth, the Dolphin Centre in Poole, Wimborne Road in Winton and Saxon Square in Christchurch.

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