Our sister company The Local Buyers Club is once again collecting new toys for thousands of children experiencing extreme poverty in London.
Last year's Winter Toy Appeal reached 4,000 children. This year Covid-19 is making things trickier but we're determined to do all we can.
The Local Buyers Club is overseeing the distribution of toys, via a network of social workers, schools, refuges, children's centres, hostels and food banks.
Jenna Fansa, of My Virtual Neighbourhood and the Local Buyers Club, founded the appeal seven years ago. She said: "Referrals are flooding in from refuges where women and children are fleeing domestic violence and hostels (where families live in cramped and often frightening conditions). They include referrals for refugees who have fled untold horrors and referrals from teachers who bring food into school so children don't go hungry.
"Parents who have lost all of their work due to Coronavirus wait for five weeks (sometimes longer) for Universal Credit to come through. There is extreme poverty in our capital and it isn't ok. This pandemic has been particularly hard on children experiencing poverty and the Winter Toy Appeal is a chance to bring a little Christmas joy.
"We urgently need more donations in order to make sure every child referred to us receives a special gift."
A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the appeal - money raised is being used to buy toys from London's independents. There's also an online wish list. To support the appeal, visit www.wintertoyappeal.com
Find out which independent businesses near you are open or delivering to your community: Click HERE to find your virtual neighbourhood
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