28/11/2023 - Permalink

News from our partners: Children’s Christmas Toy Appeal launches in Shropshire leisure centres

Related topics: Community / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations
A man and woman stood in front of a silver collecting box

Staff at Market Drayton Swimming and Fitness Centre are looking forward to receiving donations to the toys appeal

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust has announced the launch of a charity drive, which will see customers and staff at the leisure centres  it manages collect new, unwrapped toys this Christmas for families facing hardship.

The Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre, Oswestry Leisure Centre, Shrewsbury Sports Village and Market Drayton Swimming and Fitness Centre are partnering with charity, Family Action, whose toy appeal last year ensured over 10,000 children, who may have missed out on a gift, had a present under their Christmas tree.

This year, research from the charity revealed that 1 in 7 (14%) parents/carers surveyed said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their children this Christmas due to financial constraints.

Rhys Collins, partnership manager for the Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, which operates the Shropshire Council-owned centres, said:-

“We’re very proud to be partnering with Family Action, supporting the amazing work they do all year round to help families throughout the UK and abroad. Knowing 14% of parents/carers are saying they cannot afford presents for their children is a heart-breaking statistic, but you can bank on the generosity of the people who work at and visit our centre. We’ll be going all out to collect as many toys as we can.”

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:-

“I am delighted that SCLT is supporting this excellent appeal, it was a great success last year. I know our centre users will be keen to donate what they can and know that they are spreading a little extra Christmas cheer to children in need.”

David Holmes CBE, chief executive of Family Action, added:-

“Every family deserves comfort and joy at Christmas, but with the high costs of food and utilities, many will find their holiday season stressful and difficult, and it does seem, this year, that Christmas magic is in short supply.

“This is where organisations like Shropshire Community Leisure Trust come in and we want to thank all of their staff and customers for their extremely generous donations. With their support, more families will have a special gift for their children and together, we can keep the magic of Christmas alive.”

Family Action provides emotional and practical support to more than 60,000 families across the country, all year round, and the charity’s Toy Appeal, part of the charity’s annual ‘Make Theirs Magic’ campaign, supports families facing financial difficulty at Christmas.

Toy collection boxes will be in the reception areas of each leisure centre until 11 December. After that date, Family Action will collect all items and distribute them around the UK, bringing some much-needed joy to families facing tough times

For details of all the trust’s sites see: https://www.shropshireleisurecentres.com/

For customers who would prefer to donate a gift of money rather than a toy, there is a  JustGiving page here.

All toys are welcome, however these areas are in desperate need of any toys suitable for 1-5 year olds in particular.

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust operates four centres in partnership with Serco Leisure and on behalf of Shropshire Council.