Co-op Christmas Toybox Appeal collects 4,000 presents to hand out to children in Cambridgeshire

Central England Co-op customers and members got into the festive spirit by donating over 12,000 presents and stocking fillers as part of the retailer’s first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal – with 4,000 being collected in Cambridgeshire and handed to local youngsters.

The items were dropped off at special donation points located in all stores in Cambridgeshire or handed over to Santa’s elves as the Co-op Christmas lorry stopped off at St Ives food store as part of a one off collection event.

In Cambridgeshire, the presents have been shared out by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), which cares for youngsters across the area, and Yaxley Food Bank to as many children as possible to ensure they have something to open on December 25.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of everyone involved with our Society, I want to say a big thank you to every customer, member and colleague who helped make our first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal a major success.

“Kind-hearted people have donated over 12,000 brand new presents and stocking fillers that are now going to bring smiles to the faces of thousands of youngsters up and down the country as they wake up on Christmas morning.

“We are so proud of the generosity shown by everyone who has supported this campaign and proud to be involved with some truly inspiring local good causes and charities who work not just at Christmas but all year round to make sure children get great support when they need it most.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped us here at Central England Co-op to give over 12,000 children a gift they will never forget this Christmas.”

Items donated included puzzles, games, soft toys, outdoor toys, books, dolls/figures, CDs/DVDs and art materials. There were also several giant unicorns and dinosaurs as well as bikes, scooters and even a mock Co-op shop.

Chris Grant, from Yaxley Food Bank, said: “We work closely all year round with Central England Co-op but have been overwhelmed with the response to this Christmas Toybox Appeal.

“People really do not understand how much their kindness and generosity will allow us to actually give children a Christmas they otherwise might not have had.

“It is hard to put into words just how much these donations mean but thank you to all involved, thank you for bringing Christmas joy to so many this festive season.”

Elaine John, from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, said: “Thank you to everyone who kindly donated to the Central England Co-op Christmas Toybox Appeal. You will be helping local families in a number of ways.

“Due to the complexity of the conditions many children are faced with, it’s often difficult for EACH to accept toys as donations for those in our care. Where possible, we will gift the toys to family members, and they will also be used by our fundraising and retail teams to generate much-needed income.

“All funds raised are vital to help us deliver our services free of charge to an increasing number of children, young people and families in our region. Thank you so much for your support.”

 

 

Notes to editors

 

Picture caption: Rafal Czlonka, Julie Lamb and Richard Drackley, from Central England Co-op, get ready to hand out some of the donated toys in Cambridgeshire.

 

 

About Central England Co-operative

 

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.

 

Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.

 

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

 

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to member activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

 

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

 

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

 

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop