The team at Haines Watts Swindon have volunteered their office reception area in Old Town as a Covid safe collection point for the 2020 Swindon Christmas Toy Appeal.
In its 4th year, the appeal aims to provide toys for children of families in need in the town where parents or guardians would struggle to buy presents without resorting to loans. In that time, over 1,000 children have received presents who may not have got a gift at all – or their parents may have got into debt to afford Christmas.
This year, with the impact of Covid-19, the need is expected to be greater than ever with 20 families already referred for support by various services by the beginning of November. The highest number ever – before the appeal officially launches on 16th November.
Dawn Prosser, one of the appeal’s organisers, said, “The appeal is run by churches across Swindon and its aim is to bring a little hope and happiness to families who would really struggle to find the money for presents.
“Families are nominated by agencies serving Swindon, participating churches and by schools. Last year around 2,000 toys were donated which were distributed to 134 families which meant 353 children received presents.”
In previous years, the nominated families were invited to attend children’s Christmas parties and while the children were being entertained, parents were able to slip aside, choose presents and wrap them during the party to offer a dignified experience. This year presents will be delivered directly the families’ homes as parties are unlikely to be permitted.
Finding collection points for people to donate toys has also been challenging.
Anna-Marie Healy, Marketing and Office Manager for Haines Watts Swindon, said, “We are only too pleased to support the Swindon Christmas Toy Appeal again this year and provide a safe space for donations to be dropped off. It’s such a good cause and, for us, it matters that children in need in our town are given a gift this Christmas to enjoy with their families.
“Our office reception is Covid safe and we would ask any person, or business, wanting to donate toys to call us on 01793 533838 to arrange a time for dropping off. Our office is at Old Station House, Newport Street, Swindon, SN1 3DU. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.”
New toys and gifts for children aged 0 to 16 are suitable. The collection point at Haines Watts Swindon will be open until close of business on Friday 4th December, allowing time for delivery to be made to the appeal’s HQ.
Nationally, Haines Watts is a top 15 firm of Chartered Accountants who specialise in advising and supporting business owners, individuals and not-for-profit organisations locally and throughout the UK. The firm has been at the centre of the Swindon and Wiltshire business communities for the last 25 years.