Central England Co-op distribution colleagues with some of the toys donated during the 2019 appeal Image Central England Co-op

Appeal is running throughout November

Marston Moretaine Central England Co-op is launching a special Christmas Toybox Appeal to make sure as many children as possible have a gift to open this festive season.

Running throughout the month of November, Central England Co-op customers and members are urged to donate a present or stocking filler at special donation points located in its Marston Moretaine store, or any of its 242 stores across 16 counties.

Gifts will then be distributed to families who might not otherwise be able to afford to put presents under the tree for their children via local charities, community groups and food banks as well as major hospitals and hospices.

Luke Ficken, Store Manager at Marston Moretaine Central England Co-op Food Store Image: Central England Coop

Luke Ficken, store manager at the Marston Moretaine Central England Co-op store, said:

“We are excited to be supporting the Christmas Toybox Appeal again this year after we had such a great response from locals last time.

“After the challenges of 2020 it is great to be doing something positive to help children to have a happy Christmas and if our customers and members are able to drop off a small gift or stocking filler it will be hugely appreciated and will hopefully bring some joy this festive season.”

The retailer ran its first appeal last year which saw over 12,000 presents and stocking fillers donated. The 2020 appeal takes on additional significance during these challenging times for so many as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said:

“After such an uncertain year for so many in our communities Christmas offers a time for reflection but also celebration and joy, particularly for children.

“However, we know through our work with our food bank partners and with FareShare Midlands the challenges being faced every day by families which has only got tougher as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By launching our second Christmas Toybox appeal we hope to make sure that as many children as possible across the country wake up on Christmas morning with a present waiting for them to help bring the festive season to life.

“We are again working with some truly inspiring local good causes and charities to make this appeal another great success and ensure that all of these donations will end up with children who need them most.

“So, if you can this Christmas, please visit our food stores, donate a new present and help us give a child a gift they will love.”

The Christmas Toybox Appeal donation points will be in stores from November 1 to December 9.

Items that can be donated have to be new, unwrapped and can include puzzles, games, soft toys, outdoor toys, books, dolls/figures, CDs/DVDs and art materials.