Published: 11:38, 19 November 2020
| Updated: 11:40, 19 November 2020
A popular toy appeal will go ahead despite new lockdown rules meaning many drop-off points are now closed.
The team from Dartford Deeds Not Words Foundation help collect toys, along with charity representatives, to distribute them to children every Christmas.
The appeal was set up in 2014 by Dartford Cllr Kelly Grehan and friends Sarah Crook, 43 and Lisa Bullock 41, in an effort to spread joy to kids staying in the women's refuge over the festive period.
It has grown steadily in support during that time and last year received around 2,500 gifts with the support of ellenor, Imago Young People Support, We are Beams, Homestart, Mary's Child, the women's refuge and the Rosewood mother and baby unit.
However, the latest lockdown has thrown a spanner in the works as many of the group's drop off points have been forced to close.
Organisers say they are also aware due to the pandemic people might be reluctant to shop or drop items at a donation point.
In response they are asking for help from people to run collections in their street or among friends. They have also set up a fundraiser for those who wish to donate.
Cllr Grehan said: "Every year I panic we won't get enough donations and every year we do, but this year feels like a real challenge to collect the donations.
"I hope people will come together and help as in previous years as the gifts really are appreciated."
Fellow organiser Sarah thanked those shops and businesses supporting the appeal despite acing their own set of financial challenges due to the pandemic.
She said: "We are devastated to miss out on the support of the shops and busineses who usually help for November.
"It is testament to their community spirit that so many were willing to help this year despite the problems they were experiencing and one of the things we love about the Toy Appeal is that so many parts of the community get involved."
The Toy Appeal is run alongside other collections held through the year, including toiletries donated to hospital wards, mental health facilities and refuges.
To donate to the latest appeal click here.