Christmas Toy Appeal: Brilliant effort but we need your help NOW

Brilliant! That sums up the last seven days in the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy Appeal.

With some truly generous efforts, we have almost doubled the toys total from 3,000 to 5,500 in one week. But we have to collect almost 15,000 toys to ensure that no child loses out at this special time of year. And that means we need 4,750 toys a week over the next two weeks or almost 700 a day.

There is a big danger that for the first time ever we may not reach our target. This is our toughest challenge yet, in our 34th annual toy appeal.

We need everyone to dig deep for our campaign. Please see it in your heart to add some special youngsters to your Christmas shopping list.

Our quiz night was a fantastic success. And as you can see on the right, a group of pensioners really did their bit for the appeal.

We would like to thank Miss Suraiya Kassamally for her donation to our head office and Asda, Beckton, for their help.

This week sees the Christmas Toy Run by caring bikers. The British Motorcyle Federation Region 8 bikers will meet at the King’s Oak pub in High Beech while other bikers will meet up at North City Triumph dealers in Romford.

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They will then stop at various venues on the way collecting toys for needy young ones and then meet up at Community Links headquarters in Barking Road, Canning Town. The event,which will see many bikers in fancy dress will include BMF riders, those from the Essex Chapter of the Harley Davidson group and the Virago Star Owners Club and other riders who have pledged to make a difference.

Our signed West Ham shirt auction raised �350.

But now over to you. When you buy gifts for loved ones and friends, please add another – for a child. We promise every pound donated will be turned into toys. We need YOUR help and we need it NOW.


The Community Links and Recorder Christmas Toy Appeal quiz night raised a record total.

The annual challenge at Links’ base in Barking Road, Canning Town, saw the Newham Blips retain their title.

The team from Newham Council’s Canning Town regeneration office win with 114 points, with The Allsorts in second and The Recorder Reprobates in third. The evening raised over �1,800, the highest ever. Each of the 16 tables taken up meant another family of children will have a Christmas to remember. this year.

* You can stage a sponsored event for the appeal to raise cash.

Recorder Editor Colin Grainger last week raised �150 for the appeal through a swim at Becontree Leisure Centre. Any donations are welcome.

Cheques should be made payable to Community Links please, not the Recorder or Archant.


Proof that generations are no bar to giving came from the happy members of the Community Links Pensioners Club this week.

They provided joy for youngsters by surprising appeal organisers with a simply lovely donation of gifts at Links’ headquatrters in Barking Road, Canning Town. Hearing that the appeal was struggling, the club members dug deep and collected toys for the appeal.

Paula Blake from Links said: “The group meet every Wednesday and decided they wanted to do their bit for the campaign. It is marvellous.”

They presented around 60 toys.


The appeal got another boost this week when members of an East Ham church made a lovely donation.

The members of St George’s and St Ethelberg’s Church in Burford Road, gave us �150 and some toys.

Ian Stevens, a member of the church’s parochial council presented the gift to Links’ base in Barking Road, Canning Town.

It helped boost the total at a crucial time.

We also got a boost from Asda Superstore in Beckton, who have supported the campaign for over 25 years.

A van load of jigsaws helped the total of toys rise nicely.


Where you can leave your gifts: There is a network of drop-off points all over Newham where you can leave toys. These are at:

NEWHAM RECORDER: The reception desk, Media House, 539, High Road, Ilford, 9am to 5.30pm weekdays.

COMMUNITY LINKS: Main Centre, Barking Road, Canning Town, 9am to 6pm weekdays.

COMMUNITY LINKS CENTRAL PARK CENTRE: 2 Central Park Road, East Ham, during opening hours.

COMMUNITY LINKS ASTA CENTRE: Camel Road, Silvertown, 9am to 6pm weekdays.

COMMUNITY LINKS ROKEBY CENTRE: Rokeby Street, Stratford, 9am to 6pm weekdays.

NEWHAM CITY FARM, Stansfeld Road, Beckton, during opening hours.

ASDA SUPERSTORE: Tollgate Road, Beckton, during store opening hours.

THE LORD STANLEY PUB: St. Mary’s Road, Plaistow, during opening hours.

THEATRE ROYAL, STRATFORD: Gerry Raffles Square, during opening hours.

LORD LISTER HEALTH CENTRE: Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, 9am to 5pm weekdays.

NEWHAM BOOKSHOP: Barking Road, Upton Park, 9.30am to 5pm, during opening hours.

ST MARK’S CHURCH AND CENTRE: Lorne Road, Forest Gate, during centre opening hours.

WEST HAM UNITED SUPPORTERS CLUB: Castle Street, Upton Park, 9am to 10pm any day.

ST BARTHOLOMEW’S CHURCH AND CENTRE: Barking Road/ St Bartholmew’s , East Ham, 9am to 5pm any day.

EAST HAM TOWN HALL: Barking Road, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

THE OLD TOWN HALL: Stratford Broadway, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

BECKTON LOCAL SERVICE CENTRE: Kingsford Way, during opening hours Monday to Saturday.

GREEN STREET LOCAL SERVICE CENTRE: Green Street, Upton Park, during opening hours.

STRATFORD LOCAL SERVICE CENTRE: The Grove, Stratford, during opening hours.

EAST HAM LOCAL SERVICE CENTRE: Barking Road, East Ham, during opening hours.

THE GATE LOCAL SERVICE CENTRE and LIBRARY: Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, during opening hours.

PLAISTOW PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE: Queens Road West, Plaistow, during opening hours.

BARCHESTER, WESTGATE HOUSE NURSING HOME: Romford Road, Forest Gate, during opening hours.

n We can arrange for toys to be collected if you wish to make a donation but are housebound. Contact Kevin Jenkins, Paula Blake or reception at Community Links on (020) 7473 2270. Alternatively, call Pat Coughtrey, Kay Atwal, Melissa York, Luke Jacobs or Colin Grainger on the Recorder’s Toy Appeal Desk on (020) 8478 4444. You can also make a cash donation. We promise that every penny given will be spent on brand new toys for needy youngsters in our community. Please make any cheques payable to Community Links