Central England Co-op colleagues are urging customers and members to donate a present or stocking filler as part of its first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal in Bedfordshire. Image Cooperative Central England Picture: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ Media

Customers urged to donate a present or stocking filler

Central England Co-op is launching its first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal to make sure as many Bedfordshire children as possible have a gift to open this festive season.

Running throughout November, customers and members are being urged to donate a present or stocking filler at special donation points located in all stores in the area.

The campaign will also feature a special collection event from 10am to 3.30pm on Wednesday, 20 November at Marston Moretaine Food Store, in Bedford Road, where Central England Co-op’s very own Santa Lorry will be on hand to collect the donations.

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 the Need Project.

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

“We are a community retailer that is building on the success of our annual food bank campaigns by making sure that as many children as possible across the country wake up on Christmas morning with a present waiting for them.

“This is why I am delighted to announce our Christmas Toybox Appeal, which we hope will see our customers and members donate thousands of toys and help us all bring a little bit of magic of the festive season to life for youngsters who really don’t have a lot.

“We are working with some truly inspiring local good causes and charities who will ensure all of these donations will end up with children who need them most.

“This Christmas please visit our food stores, funeral homes, travel shops or florists, donate a new present and help us give a child a gift they with love.”

The Christmas Toybox Appeal donation points will be in stores from 1 November to 28 November 2019. Items that can be donated have to be new, unwrapped. They can include puzzles, games, soft toys, outdoor toys, books, dolls/figures, CDs/DVDs and art materials.

Dave Marchant, from The Need Project, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Central England Co-op and supporting the Christmas Toybox Appeal.

“We hope that people will dig deep, donate a present or stocking filler during November and bring Christmas joy to children in Bedfordshire.

“This appeal is a great way to support your local community and to help spread some joy this festive season. So, if you can, get involved, help now and make sure every child has a special gift to open on December 25.”

The Central England Co-op Travel Shop in Bedford is also supporting a range of good causes this Christmas with specialist collections for a range of charities this festive season.

Customers can donate via a special collection bin located in the Travel Shop.