Thousands of gifts collected for poorly and less fortunate youngsters in Daily Echo Toy Appeal

Bournemouth Echo: GIFTS: Phil Carey, centre, with the Boscombe Salvation Army Salvation Army Parents and Toddlers group GIFTS: Phil Carey, centre, with the Boscombe Salvation Army Salvation Army Parents and Toddlers group

VICTIMS of domestic violence will be handed an early Christmas present tomorrow as part of the Daily Echo’s Toy Appeal.

The drive, now in its 17th year, has seen thousands of presents collected for less-fortunate or ill children to make sure they are not forgotten this Christmas.

They have come from read-ers, businesses and organisations around the area.

Tomorrow, Phil Carey, a great-grandfather who organises the appeal, is due to visit the Butterfly Found-ation at the Bourne Spring Centre in Southbourne.

There, gifts will be given out to spread some festive cheer.

Phil, 92, said: “We have more this year than ever and it’s been wonderful.

“I’m ringing around to see where else I can get toys to as there are lots of children in need.”

Gifts have already been handed out to some youngsters, including at Boscombe Salvation Army last week.

Today is the last day of the appeal, so it’s the last chance to take gifts to the Daily Echo’s Bournemouth and Poole offices.

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

Around 100 presents will be given to youngsters forced to stay in hospital on Christmas Day through the Amelia-Grace Rainbow Fund, set up following the death of Amelia-Grace Cooper three years ago.

The appeal has been supported by the charity’s patron, actress Kara Tointon.

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