Play2Give cracks it with record breaking Easter egg appeal

Published: 28th March 2024

A Didcot-born charity is “overwhelmed” by the eggs-traordinary response to their fourth annual Easter egg appeal to help local children in need, including young patients at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Over the past two months, Play2Give appealed to the community of Oxfordshire to join forces in its eggscellent yearly drive to help collect Easter eggs and chocolate treats, with more donation points and support than ever before.  Donations came in from Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford, Witney, and Didcot, as well as from local businesses, cafes, shops, gyms, performing art schools and many more.

Now, no yolking about it, thousands of chocolate treats have been delivered by the Easter Bunny after the immense generosity of the Oxfordshire community saw a record number of eggs donated this year to put a smile on the faces of poorly children, families and those going through hardship and difficult times.

Over 1,230 Easter eggs were collected and distributed this year doubling the dedicated volunteers total of over 600 received last year. Around 400 eggs were provided to the Children’s Hospital, including a batch to the children’s ward at the Horton General in Banbury. Play2Give, which raises funds and provides relief to those in need focusing on children, health and disability causes, asked supporters for donations so that children less fortunate and those facing hardship would be able to enjoy an Easter treat.

The dedicated group of charity volunteers spent many hours sorting and counting the goodies, and were overjoyed with the cracking support, making this year’s appeal the best and biggest drive to date.

As well as the Children’s Hospital, siblings and families of babies in the neonatal care unit at the JR also received eggs alongside Viking House, Helen and Douglas House and Sobell House Hospice. Due to the staggering number of eggs, boxes loads were also provided to Didcot Foodbank to bring cheer and joy to low income and struggling families as well as to Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire.

Oxford Children’s Hospital has benefited from over £115k in funds raised over the charity’s lifetime after the organisation was formed by Andrew Baker MBE in 2007, which continued his fundraising work he began aged 14, 22 years ago. Andy was inspired to help give back after having his life saved twice, once at birth and again aged 12, with brain surgery which catapulted the 35-year-old into a mission to raise funds for the hospital, which opened in 2007. During his two-decade-long fundraising, Oxford Head Injury Services has also benefited alongside over 40 other good causes.

Speaking on this year’s eggscellent success, Andy said: “Along with the Easter bunny we worked our way excitedly through the mountain of eggs to deliver to spread some cheer and joy at this. The fantastic kindness of all those who donated brought plenty of smiles to the faces of all those who received the generosity. It was an uplifting, joyful but emotional experience too in visiting the hospital and hospices. We’re always grateful for the incredible and heartwarming support our community show Play2Give and we share our enormous thanks to everyone who took the time to donate to this appeal, which continues to help us do our fantastic work to help so many all year round in changing, transforming, and saving lives.”

Play2Give’s 13th football tournament, for which limited team spaces remain, and its fifth gala ball, among other events, all take place this year. For more information about the charity, and how you can support its work, visit play2give.org.uk