Donations requested for the Toys4Birmingham campaign

Thrive Together Birmingham is joining forces with the Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham PlayCare Network to collect gifts to keep Christmas special for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Birmingham. People are asked to liaise with friends and neighbours to safely collect unwrapped gifts and to deliver them to Edgbaston Stadium, Edgbaston Road, Birmingham B5 7QU, between 11.00am and 3.00pm on:

  • Thursday 3 December
  • Thursday 10 December
  • Saturday 12 December

2020 has been a tough year for everyone due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but for some the prospect of Christmas brings further dread, because they simply cannot afford to buy presents for their children. Many are struggling to afford the essentials for their families and a gift to bring a child joy is simply not possible.

Fred Rattley, CEO of Thrive Together Birmingham, said: ‘We are looking for new or nearly-new toys, crafts and books to help keep Christmas special for everyone. It troubles me that so many more people this year have been thrown into poverty by the Covid 19 pandemic. We were bowled over by the level of support we received from the Street Champions, individuals and businesses from across Birmingham on our #FeedBirmingham appeal. This led us to think that the community of Birmingham might support us once again to help buy an extra gift or two this year for a child who otherwise would receive nothing.’

The Birmingham Play Care Network approached Thrive Together Birmingham and the Edgbaston Foundation and asked if they would consider using the #FeedBirmingham food collection model to collect toys and gifts for children and young people aged between 0 and 16. Emma Payne from Birmingham PlayCare Network said: ‘Our connections with grass roots organisations who support the most vulnerable families will ensure that these gifts are received by children who really need them and are often missed out by other appeals. Play should be an essential part of every child’s Christmas and this appeal will go some way to try
and achieve that.’

Edgbaston Stadium has once again generously allowed us to use the venue as a central collection point and distribution centre, but this time rather than collected food we are collecting toys which will be repackaged and sent on to community groups. Ravi Masih, Head of Community Engagement at Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Lead of the Edgbaston Foundation said, ‘We are delighted to once again partner with Thrive Together Birmingham, after our successful collaboration on the #FeedBirmingham initiative. Responding quickly to emerging needs in the community is vital in the current climate. Toys4Birmingham is an example of this, as we quickly mobilised once we heard about the need to support children this Christmas. There are now many families for whom Christmas unexpectedly will be a difficult one, and we were keen to play our part in trying to ease the pressures faced to give children a happy Christmas. I hope everyone who can, gets behind #Toys4Birmingham and can donate a toy or book at the stadium during the first few days of December.’

Those wishing to donate money, rather than toys, for the appeal can do so at www.thrivetogetherbham.org/toys. All money donated through this campaign will go directly towards buying gifts for vulnerable children and young people whose families might not otherwise be able to afford Christmas presents. These will be distributed through the work of Birmingham Play Care Network, Birmingham Forward Steps and other partners who work directly with vulnerable families.

People can also buy gifts online and have them delivered to Toys4Birmingham at Edgbaston Stadium up to Saturday 12 December. For more information, visit www.thrivetogetherbham.org/toys.

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