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Dartford Toy Appeal appeal collects 1,000 toys for charities

By Jenna Dobbs

More than 1,000 items were collected for local charities at this year’s Dartford Toy Appeal.

The donations will be used to support organisations working with children and young people.

The campaign was created in 2014 by Kelly Grehan to provide gifts for those affected by domestic abuse.

Over a thousand toys were collected for local charities at this year's Dartford Toy Appeal.

She wanted to support families forced to leave home comforts behind when moving into refuge accommodation.

The campaign has grown rapidly thanks to an overwhelming response from the community and businesses.

Beneficiaries this Christmas include Darent Valley Hospital, Home-Start North West Kent, ellenor, We are Beams, Kent Young Carers, Centra and Sure Start Dartford children’s centres.

Toys were taken to drop-off points over the festive period and sorted by a team of volunteers on Saturday, December 16.

Dartford Lions Club donated money to the campaign.

The group’s president, John Whitehead, said: “We are very proud to be able to support the toy appeal, and we would like to thank the community for helping Dartford Lions to help others.”

A spokesman for fellow contributor Wisdom Estates said: “We were delighted to be involved in the appeal again, and were overwhelmed by the generosity of residents.”

The event has come a long way from its launch, when just 40 toys were collected.

Sally George, head of fundraising at Darent Valley Hospital, said: “My colleagues from the children’s ward and I were overwhelmed by the amount of toys and the generosity of the Dartford community in supporting the appeal. It will be an absolute delight to be able to give out these toys at Christmas.”

Natalie Payne, corporate and community fundraiser at We are Beams, said: “Thank you for allowing us to be part of the appeal this year.

“We are extremely grateful.”

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