Co-op launches first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal to ensure children do not miss out
Central England Co-op is launching its first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal to make sure as many children as possible have a gift to open this festive season.
Running throughout the month of November, customers and members are being urged to donate a present or stocking filler at special donation points located in all 244 stores across 16 counties.
The campaign will also feature a special collection event at a specifically chosen store in each of the counties in which it trades where Central England Co-op’s very own Santa Lorry will be on hand to collect the donations.
Gifts will then be distributed to families who might not otherwise be able to afford to put presents under the tree for their children via local charities, community groups and food banks as well as major hospitals and hospices.
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “We are a community retailer that is building on the success of our annual food bank campaigns by making sure that as many children as possible across the country wake up on Christmas morning with a present waiting for them.
“This is why I am delighted to announce our Christmas Toybox Appeal, which we hope will see our customers and members donate thousands of toys and help us all bring a little bit of magic of the festive season to life for youngsters who really don’t have a lot.
“We are working with some truly inspiring local good causes and charities who will ensure all of these donations will end up with children who need them most.
“This Christmas please visit our food stores, funeral homes, travel shops or florists, donate a new present and help us give a child a gift they with love.”
The Christmas Toybox Appeal donation points will be in stores from November 1 to November 28.
Items that can be donated have to be new, unwrapped and can include puzzles, games, soft toys, outdoor toys, books, dolls/figures, CDs/DVDs and art materials.
The major organisations being supported include Rainbows Hospice, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Locally, we are also working with Erdington Elim Church and Bethany Food Bank (Birmingham), First Steps (Atherstone), House of Bread (Stafford), Hope Centre (Derby), Hinckley Food Bank (Leicestershire), Rutland Food Bank, Bassatlaw Food Bank (Nottingham), Kettering Food Bank, New Hope Food Bank (Yorkshire), Waveney Food Bank (Suffolk), Cromer Food Bank (Norfolk), Need Project (Bedfordshire), Yaxley Food Bank (St Ives) and Lichfield Food Bank.
Kate Golding, Head of Organisational Giving at Rainbows, said: “All youngsters love toys and at Rainbows, we can always put them to good use for our children, young people and their siblings.
“We especially love toys that focus on arts and crafts as even those with the most complex of needs can benefit from them.
“Thank you in advance to everyone who donates to the appeal, we really appreciate it.”
Paula Howard, from Bassetlaw Food Bank, said: “We are delighted to be working with Central England Co-op and supporting the Christmas Toybox Appeal.
“We hope that people will dig deep, donate a present or stocking filler during November and bring Christmas joy to children.
“This appeal is a great way to support your local community and to help spread some joy this festive season. So, if you can, get involved, help now and make sure every child has a special gift to open on December 25.”
Keep posted to www.centralengland.coop and @mycoopfood on Twitter for more information and daily updates throughout November on the campaign.
Notes to editors
Picture caption: Central England Co-op colleagues are urging customers and members to donate a present or stocking filler as part of its first ever Christmas Toybox Appeal.
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.
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