East Ham charity launches toy appeal for Newham children in poverty this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:06 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:06 30 October 2020

Santa gives out gifts to children at Bonny Downs Community Association in East Ham last year. Picture: BDCA

Santa gives out gifts to children at Bonny Downs Community Association in East Ham last year. Picture: BDCA


An East Ham charity has launched its winter toy appeal to support children in the borough living in poverty during the Christmas holidays.

Newham has the most children living in poverty of any London borough and Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA) says even more families will be struggling this Christmas because of the pandemic.

Many of its service users are facing increased hardship, lost jobs, reduced income or no recourse to public funds.

BDCA children and families project co-ordinator Stacey Cordery said: “The Christmas holidays should be a time of joy.

“Instead, for too many families in Newham, it’s a time of worry and difficult choices between putting food on the table or buying gifts for their children.”

Trust for London data reveals more than half (52pc) of children in Newham live in poverty - far higher than the capital’s average (38pc) and one of the worst rates in the country.

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New research from University of Loughborough has found there are more children living in poverty in Newham than any other London borough.

“Every year we meet parents struggling to give their children the Christmas they’d hoped for and this year is looking especially challenging because of the pandemic,” Ms Cordery said. “But with your help, we can ease some of the pressure for parents and bring a smile to children’s faces with an unexpected gift after a difficult year.”

For the first two weeks, donations made to the BDCA winter toy appeal via its Localgiving page will be doubled thanks to the online fundraising platform’s match funding initiative.

Match funding will apply until noon on Monday, November 9, while funds last.

The charity, which is based at The Well Community Centre in Vicarage Lane, will use the donated funds to buy carefully chosen, age-appropriate gifts for children of all ages.

Each family who benefits is referred by one of its project teams or Newham partner organisations.

The gifts will be delivered by BDCA volunteers during December to families’ homes or at its foodbank.

Visit for more information and to donate.

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