Dashing through the snow… to the Toy Dash!
ELBA’s Toy Appeal is an annual event running from November each year, through the the run up to Christmas. ELBA works with community partners across east London that require toys for babies, children and young people, from 0-16 years. The community partners work with local families that for one reason or another, are not able to provide gifts for their children at Christmas. The aim is to ensure that these families and their children, are able to celebrate with some festive cheer. Each year the appeal receives thousands of gifts from companies across London.
The appeal is organised and run by the Challenge:ELBA team, who find that generally the age groups 11-16 years and 0-3 years, tend to receive far fewer donations than the other groups. Therefore, as part of the 2017 Toy Appeal, the team decided to trial a new activity in a bid to collect much needed toys for these age groups. The activity was the December ‘Just Turn Up Day’…
Think supermarket sweep but in a shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City! And with lots of Santa’s Little Helpers (volunteers from HSBC and State Street) working with Newham’s Met Police to negotiate some great discounts on toys for young people aged 0-3 or 11-16, all using donated money.
The volunteers did a sterling job working in teams to purchase over 300 toys in 5 hours!
A big thank you to Westfield who facilitated the shopping, and their concierge team who enabled the volunteers to arrange ‘Hands-free’ shopping and organised introductions in many of the shops. Simon Harding of Westfield said:
“I am delighted to have been associated with so many willing and able volunteers who gave of their time and energy to make this one of the most collaborative efforts I have had the pleasure to have been involved with. Everyone involved was inspirational which is why we do this sort of thing. To be able to give something back is great thing and to have so much fun doing it is even better. You bet I’d do it again and recommend others to do it too!”
Thanks also to the Met Police who worked with our volunteers to negotiate discounts in the stores while raising money for their own appeal. Finally thank you to the Entertainer and Mothercare who were able to offer discounts of up to 50% for the appeal!