Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy Appeal: Over halfway to for the final push!

Exceptional! The last seven days in the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy Appeal have been unbelievable.

With some truly amazing efforts, we have collected the equivalent of 4,500 toys in one week.

We are more than halfway to the paradise that is our toys total of 15,000 gifts.

We have amassed an incredible 10,000 toys, 20 times what we needed when we started all those 34 years ago. But how the campaign and the need has grown.

We need another 5,000 toys, and we need YOU to make sure it happens. We need to collect over 700 toys a day to ensure no child loses out at this special time of year.

This is our toughest challenge yet, in our 34th annual toy appeal.

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

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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.

Leading the roll call of those we need to thank this week are a certain individual known only as The Toy Lady in Beckton. She gives every year anonymously. She really is a lovely woman, who is unable to get out much herself.

But she has collected gifts for an entire year, and we went to collect them this week.

We also want to thank Mayor Sir Robin Wales, not only for his personal gifts, but for spreading the word about the campaign.

You can read about the kindhearted bikers who helped our appeal this week, and we will be carrying a full list of thank you’s as we near deadline-day.

West Ham United and their stars also gave us a boost with a donation of toys and we have another auction to raise funds. We have been given a bottle of West Ham United Medium White Cuvee de la Maison (that’s house wine) signed by legend Sir Trevor Brooking.

If you would like to bid, please e-mail, by 5pm this coming Friday December 15. You must pick up the wine if you are successful from Kevin Jenkins at Community Links Canning Town office.


Saturday saw the Christmas Toy Run by caring bikers. The British Motorcyle Federation (BMF) Region 8 bikers met at the King’s Oak pub in High Beech while other bikers met at North City Triumph dealers in Romford.

They then stopped at various venues on the way collecting toys for needy young ones and then arrived at Links headquarters, Canning Town, delivering a fantastic 400 gifts. The event, which saw many bikers in fancy dress included BMF riders, those from the Essex Chapter of the Harley Davidson group and the Virago Star Owners Club and other riders who really have made a difference.


West Ham United boosted our appeal this week...with a donation of more than 100 Hammers teddies and Santas!

They had bear-ley finished training at their Chadwell Heath training session, when they rushed in to present the gifts to Community Links representatives Jason Turner and Bradley Bowers. Carlton Cole, Mark Noble, Papa Bouba Diop and James Tomkins handed over the gifts.

Hammers spokeswoman Laura Burkin said: “The lads were more than happy to present the gifts and wish the appeal well.

“We hope the Community Links and Recorder appeal reaches its target to help needy children.”


The Church of the Latter Day Saints in Hornchurch boosted the appeal this week with a donation following a collection among members.

The gifts were handed over to Ben Jenkins of Community Links.

Two anonymous donations also boosted our cause at a vital time. A local construction company, who wish to remain anonymous, gave a financial donation.

And two pensioners, who had saved up money all year for the appeal from their pensions, presented us with the cash.


Community Links are staging a Christmas on the Farm event at Newham City Farm, Stansfeld Road, Beckton this coming Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18.

The event raises money for the farm, run by Links and funds for toys for the annual Toy Appeal staged by Links and the Recorder.

There’s a nativity scene with attractions such as Father Christmas, Newham’s tallest Christmas tree, Nativity plays, workshops, refreshments, a Christmas farm trail (with a winning prize for the children who complete) and carol singing!

Admission is �3 for children and �5 for adults. The price includes a gift from Father Christmas (for children). There’s also a tombola, craft stalls, toy stalls, and refreshments available. Real Christmas trees on sale in aid of the Toy Appeal. The real live animals are waiting for their guests!

n From 11am until 4pm, there is table space available for craft and seasonal products. Anyone interested, contact Kevin Jenkins at or call (020) 7473 2270.

Newham charity Community Links are staging a Christmas lunch to raise funds for the appeal and buy new toys.

Places for the meal on December 15 have to be booked. A meal of soup, turkey main course, ham, roast spuds and sprouts and carrors, parsnips, followed by mince piesor custard and trifle and glass or wine costs �9, or �65 for a table of eight. Veggie options are available. The meals are served from noon to 1.30pm and then from 1.30pm to 3pm. Phone (020) 7473 9685 or (020) 7473 2270 or e-mail for details.

n Community Links social enterprise unit are asking businesses if they would consider getting their Christmas trees for their offices from Links.

The trees are from ethnical and sustainable sources and will hold their needles throughout the festive period and will only have been cut a few days before delivery. Call the same number.

Delivery will be made on a day of people’s choice.” Contact(020) 7473 2270 for details.


Here’s 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.

* 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