An annual toy appeal is well underway with the aim to spread cheer, joy and smiles to poorly children in hospital this Christmas.
Once again Didcot-based fundraising group, Play2Give set up by the town’s Andy Baker, has orchestrated Sleigh2Give for a third year running, with the hope of building on its successful campaign last year.
Sleigh2Give was first devised in 2015 as an idea with Lee Crook, who works at the Sainsbury’s supermarket in the town, when three sacksful of toys was received.
Last year, the group received an estimated 3,000 plus donations of new toys which was delivered to the Oxford Children’s Hospital in time for Christmas, with the total of gifts worth around £18,000. This year Play2Give hopes for another successful if not bigger effort this time round.
Last year saw around 40 companies, schools and groups support the annual gift-giving, including Didcot supermarket customers across both Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Together with Santa, Elf Baker and his army of helpers, deliver an abundance of cheer, joy and smiles lifting the spirits to children that are too unwell to enjoy Christmas at home. The annual toy drive is again sponsored by Go Green Taxis, whose chosen charity is Play2Give, as well as Didcot charity shop, Changing Lives.
This year gifts ranging in age from babies to teenagers will be delivered to the children’s wards on December 17th.
Both Oxford Harlequins Rugby Club and Wheatley Rugby Club are both lending their support this year as part of the growing number supporting this year’s appeal. There are a number of donation zones, and gifts can also be collected in Didcot. There will be donation days in-store at Tesco in the town on across three days on the weekend of November 24th and at Sainsbury’s, also in Didcot, on December 8th.
Go Green Taxis spokesperson Bradlee Moore said: “Go Green Taxis are very proud to be sponsoring and supporting Play2Give’s festive campaign again this year. Sleigh2Give is a fantastic initiative and we have seen first-hand what a difference this makes to the children at the Oxford Children’s Hospital at Christmas. All of our drivers and staff really got behind the campaign last year, raising money and donating presents, and we expect this year’s effort to be even bigger and better. As a company with strong roots in the local community, we recognise the value of local groups such as Play2Give and that is why we are delighted to be associated with it, not just at Christmas but throughout the year.”
Play2Give organises a wide range of events and initiatives each year raising many thousands for local charities, including over £45,000 for the children’s hospital which saw a room named after it unveiled on the teenage ward earlier this year. This year the fundraising group hoped to raise £10,000 or more as part of its tenth anniversary appeal, and 2017 looks set to be a record year for the group, with over £16,000 already raised.
Anyone wishing to donate towards Sleigh2Give, or for more information about P2G, can visit play2give.org.uk