A charity that gives away thousands of toys every month to disadvantaged children has launched its Christmas appeal for donations. The Toy Project, which operates from a shop on Junction Road in Archway, says that among those benefiting will be children whose parents are in prisons such as HMP Pentonville.
As part of the appeal, schools across the borough will take part in the Big Islington Toy Give over the next six weeks. Children are asked to bring unwanted toys to their schools so that they can be given to less fortunate kids. John Nicholson, chairman of the charity’s trustees, says: “They’ll learn about recycling and helping other people and we’ll collect those toys, sell and redistribute them.”
Mr Nicholson adds that it’s not just the children of prisoners who will benefit: “We redirect the toys to lots of children who are less fortunate; that can be in hospitals, hospices or individual families in need.”
The Toy Project was established five years ago and is stocked entirely with items that have been donated by people walking into the shop, or collected from schools and businesses.
Its work also prevents toys and books ending up in landfill sites. Sarah Ellis, who visits the Toy Project frequently, said: “It’s about recycling, and stopping stuff going into the oceans and landfill, and helping people in a very simple way who are less fortunate. I like that double hit of helping and recycling.”