We have kicked off the beginning of a volunteering programme for employees by sending some volunteers to help at Chiltern Toy Bank in Chesham.
The charity began six years ago, when a few volunteers put out an appeal for donations of good quality toys that children have outgrown. Donation boxes were placed locally and were quickly filled to the brim. Since then the charity has gone from strength to strength with ten regular volunteers and help from extra groups such as the Team Paradigm volunteers. This year, with more than double the number of toys as usual, they have a mammoth task, but will be helping over 430 children up to the age of 18 in the area.
Our volunteers sorted a massive pile of toys – the ones in the best condition are collated into sacks for delivery by the volunteers to the children’s houses before Christmas. To receive toys, people register their preferences online so the sacks can be sorted accordingly and the children receive relevant presents. This year the local Foodbank identified a real need for toiletries such as shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrushes so, with £1,000 donated from the tokens collected in Tesco, bought these to include in the bags.
Jenny Rees, one of the Trustees of Chiltern Toy Bank, said: We have had a huge response this year and our volunteers are working hard. It takes over our lives for the six weeks before Christmas!”
Frances Kneller, another Trustee, added: “Nothing goes to waste here, once the sacks are sorted, we send the leftover toys in a container to Gambia. Our mantra is recycle, re-use and re-gift.
We are a unique charity and because of our success, we are being asked for advice on how to set up toy banks in the Midlands.”
One of our volunteers, Sherry said: “I was proud to be able to help such a worthwhile cause. The people who run the Toy Bank are doing an amazing job, bringing a smile to all those children’s faces on Christmas morning is priceless!
Please note that Chiltern Toy Bank is no longer accepting donations this year.