As toys start to come in for our Kevin Jenkins OBE Newham Christmas Toy Appeal we focus this week on some of the families who need YOU to help us spread some much needed joy.

Ambition, Aspire, Achieve and the Newham Recorder are in partnership again for the 45th year.


The charity deals with a variety of families throughout the year. The following gives an insight into four of the families who will benefit from the appeal this festive season.

Family A

A single mother with her teenage daughter, who is autistic, and mum is experiencing mental health difficulties herself.

They currently live in temporary accommodation that is completely inadequate to meet their needs. They have very little furniture and few possessions and are reliant on donations, clothes banks and food banks.

Newham Recorder:

The family have been referred for support as the daughter has experienced bullying in school, which has affected her confidence, self-esteem and her mental health.

They are completely reliant on benefits and have no family support. Mum is completely dedicated to caring for her daughter but has no spare money to purchase gifts.

Family B

A single parent family, with two children aged two and eight who have been referred to the Christmas Appeal by the eldest son’s school.

Mum lost her job during the Covid-19 pandemic and has struggled to support the family since, with mum often missing meals so her sons can eat.

The family live in a poor quality, overcrowded room, have very few possessions and have recently been referred to, and become reliant on, the support from the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve food bank and clothing bank. They have no spare money to purchase Christmas presents.

Mum is determined to return to work, to once again provide a better quality of life to her sons.

Newham Recorder: (Image: AAA/Colin Grainger)(Image: AAA/Colin Grainger) (Image: Colin Grainger/AAA)

Family C

A two-parent family with four children under 15, sharing council accommodation.

The 14-year-old has become involved in gang activities following mum's recent significant mental health difficulties and her attempt to commit suicide, which has understandably had a significant impact on the family.

Dad is the prime carer but earns minimum wage, and has had to take a leave of absence from work due to the recent family difficulties, and the family are now heavily reliant on benefits, continually struggling to cover the basic costs of food, heat and light, which they cannot do without regular support from food banks – and dad is extremely concerned about surviving through the winter with the cost of living crisis taking hold.

The children have few toys and enjoy very few treats but dad does his best and is struggling hard to go forward despite all of the challenges he and the family are going through.

Family D

A lone dad who lost his wife during the Covid-19 pandemic. He has three children, two daughters and a son, and is doing his best to support them both financially and emotionally following the loss of mum.

Sadly dad lost his job after struggling with the loss of his wife, and subsequently the family home, having to move into smaller rented accommodation, which is woefully inadequate for the family, with no outdoor space and only one bedroom.

Their accommodation is sparse, and they are frequently without the basic necessities, and are now reliant entirely on benefits, donations and food banks.

The children, and dad have been through a great deal, and are still struggling to come to terms with everything, but dad is doing his best to find work and be there for the children, whilst struggling so much himself.

Please do all you can to help. Details of how you can help are featured elsewhere on this page.

Anyone who would like to donate new toys to the appeal can do so at the Terence Brown Arc in the Park hub in Bethell Avenue, Canning Town, from 9am until 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays.  

Alternatively, buy a gift on AAA's Amazon wishlist

People can also donate money on a JustGiving page at

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