Shoppers in Norfolk and Suffolk thanked as Co-op Christmas Toybox Appeal sees over 12,000 presents donated to help families make Christmas special

Central England Co-op customers and members have helped to bring smiles to children’s faces this festive period by donating over 12,000 presents and stocking fillers as part of the retailer’s special Christmas toy appeal.

The items were dropped off at special donation points located in all 262 stores across 16 counties through November and December as shoppers took on the challenge in these uncertain times to give children who may otherwise have gone without a gift to unwrap on Christmas Day.

All of the presents were then shared out via local charities, community groups, food banks and hospices who handed them to as many children as possible to help spread much-needed festive cheer.

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 Christmas Toybox Appeal another incredible success.

“It is incredibly humbling that kind-hearted people in our communities 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 overwhelmed by 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, and even children’s bicycles.

In Norfolk and Suffolk, a range of local organisations benefitted from the toy appeal including Cromer Food Bank, the Community Larder in Mundsley, Baby Basics and the National Childbirth Trust in the Dersingham area, Pakefield Community Group in Lowestoft and over 150 toys donated by customers and members to Central England Co-op in Bungay went to the Harleston Kindness Help Hub.

Siobhan Keeble from the group, which was set up at the beginning of the first lockdown to support vulnerable residents, said the toys will be used as part of gift and food boxes going to 90 families the hub is supporting in the area.

She said: “We were really surprised at how many toys there were. We were quite overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have supported the appeal and the toys will make such a difference to people struggling this Christmas.”

Other major organisations supported by this year’s Christmas Toybox Appeal included Family Action, Rainbows Hospice, the Salvation Army and The Active Wellbeing Society.

 

Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish.  

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 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. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.4 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop