Almost halfway to paradise...but we need YOUR help now

IT started looking grim as the trickle of toys slowed to nil, then the snow fell and we feared the worst.

But despite the cancellation of one of our most important events, the tide turned and a flood of goodwill began to come our way Now we are nearly halfway to paradise for needy children in Newham.

With just two weeks to go we have amassed the equivalent over just over SIX THOUSAND gifts.

We are still behind schedule compared with last year, and we are still concerned that some children may go without. But we ARE getting there.

We still need around 500 toys a day, so your help is needed and is really needed now.


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But all things considered, it has been an excellent week for the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy Appeal for 2010.We now have to continue to turn up the kindness. We still have a massive number of toys, around 7,250, to collect.

We have to ensure no child is left out at this special time of year. For the 34th year we have proudly launched our appeal in conjunction with the group that is at the heart of local life, care organisation Community Links.

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My sponsored swim raised just over �125, which will be matched by this newspaper’s parent company, Archant. Newham Chamber of Commerce, the Olympic Delivery Authority and the Theatre Royal, Stratford., have promised support.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group and the British Motorcycle Association are also backing the campaign by staging a special Bike Toy Run around East London on Saturday December 11. And Community Links are busy preparing for the parties at which the toys you donate will be handed out, bringing joy to so many. The parties are to be staged at Links’ main base in Barking Road, Canning Town. Please do all you can to make this year’s appeal one to remember. There are a lot of young people in Newham depending on YOU.

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THE BOOKSHOP with hearts of gold…that’s one of Newham’s most respected businesses.

Newham Bookshop in Barking Road, Upton Park, has been supporting our appeal since day one.

And they were out in force again to help us when we needed it most this week.

Paula Blake and her team were the shop at the Boleyn junction to receive some wonderful gifts for our campaign.

John Newman and Helen Mackenzie from the shop handed over the gifts, which will be much-loved by youngsters and also help them with their reading skills.

Said Paula: “It’s another donation to boost the campaign.”

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THE bad weather hit the the Community Links and Recorder’s Christmas Toy Appeal Quiz Night on Thursday.

The annual challenge quiz was due to be held from from 7pm at Links’ base in Barking Road, Canning Town, and the Recorder’s own team, the Recorder Rockets were geared up for the action along wqith another 15 teams.

But Community Links boss Kevin Jenkins reluntantly had to make the decision to cancel the event on the morning of the battle.

“We had a few teams say they could not make it, but they gave their donation to us, and we were concerned about the safety of poeple getting home.

“Many teams told us to keep their donation, which they had made in advance.”

A new provisional date for the quiz is January 20.

If you want to enter a team, contact Kevin Jenkins, Paula Blake or one of the Toy Appeal team at Community Links on (020) 7473 2270. Each table taken up equates to another family of children having a Christmas to remember this year.

There will be prizes for the winners and lemons (or possibly something completely inappropriate) for the losers! You bring Please bring your own drinks and nibbles.

The Recorder’s donation added with the proceeds of Editor Colin Grainger’s swim meant we still added �500 to the appeal.

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IF you want to stage an event to raise money, or collect toys for the appeal, call Links for advice on (020) 7473 2270.

l Links are staging a Christmas lunch to raise funds for the appeal and buy new toys. Places for the nosh-up on December 16 must be booked. A meal of soup, turkey main course, ham, roast spuds and brussell sprouts, carrots, parsnips, mince pies and custard or trifle, and a glass of wine, costs �8. Veggie options are available. It takes place from noon to 1.30pm and 1.30 to 3pm.

l If you want to visit Links and find out more about the appeal, help at one of the parties being staged, or want more information, contact Paula Blake on (020) 7473 2270.

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