Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales supports the Recorder’s toy appeal and backs Newham’s Every Child programme


- Credit: Archant

I know this time of year is busy for everyone but I ask that you spare a thought for a special appeal that is at the heart of Christmas.

I am supporting the ­annual appeal for toys run by the Recorder and the Canning Town charity Community Links, aiming to provide each child with which they work with a Christmas stocking of brand new gifts.

I have done my bit to support the appeal and I ask you to do the same.

If you are buying gifts for loved ones and friends, please add another for a child in Newham. Anything you can give to this worthy cause is welcome.

But it is not just at Christmas that every child matters. That’s why I have always promised to do all I can to support the future life chances of our youngest residents, to inspire them to achieve their goals.

Only in Newham has free school meals been provided since 2009 to all primary school children regardless of their parents income, saving each family at least £566 per child.

Only in Newham do more than 10,000 children across 73 schools receive free music lessons and free musical instruments thanks to Newham’s Every Child a Musician scheme, the largest and most successful free musical programme in the country, which has now celebrated its third birthday.

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Only in Newham are primary and secondary school pupils getting the opportunity to see a stage production either at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford Circus or at Shakespeare’s Globe, as part of Newham’s Every Child a Theatre Goer programme, endorsed by no less a star than Barbara Windsor.

Only in Newham can 4,500 children aged 11 and 12 try from a range of more than 20 different and exhilarating sports that are not usually part of the school curriculum as part of Newham’s Every Child a Sports Person, supported by Olympic gold medallist Mark Hunter.

Only in Newham do more than 1,500 primary school children benefit from phonics lessons and one-to-one tuition under the Newham Reading Guarantee.

Newham’s Every Child programme is the best investment and present we can give to our children. It lays the foundations for their future success.

I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year.