30 May 2024

Time to get in the festive spirit as The Great Big Salisbury Christmas Toy Appeal returns

The second ‘Great Big Salisbury Christmas Toy Appeal’ launched this morning to deliver toys to vulnerable children and struggling families across the city.

Love Salisbury with ReQuire Consultancy are encouraging local people and businesses to support the campaign which aims to ensure no Salisbury child goes without a gift this festive season.

The appeal was the brainchild of Louise Howard from ReQuire Consultancy during the troubling times of the pandemic with the aim of raising £500, but by Christmas Day the campaign had raised over £11,000 and had delivered 600 presents and stocking fillers to over 200 children across the city who were referred to the Toy Appeal that may otherwise have missed out on receiving a gift from Santa.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of almost 50 businesses in Salisbury, the Toy Appeal purchased the entire Amazon ‘Wish List’ for Little Folly’s Children Centre, it ensured the Women’s refuge had gifts for children fleeing violence, it enabled parents estranged from their children based at Alabaré to have toys to give to their kids and it gave an entire van full of toys to children who were visiting loved ones at Salisbury Hospice on Christmas Day.

This year, Louise is once again calling on the people of Salisbury to embrace the spirit of Christmas to help raise funds and collect toys for the city’s vulnerable children. Speaking to Love Salisbury, Louise said, “In many cases, the families we helped last year are now in a far more difficult financial position than 12 months ago.

“We only need to look at the reports coming from food banks and national media to see the situation right across the country. So, with a sprinkling of Christmas spirit I would love for us to do whatever we can to have a positive impact on those families that really need a Christmas this year”.

Daniel Sanger, the Store Manager at Smyths Toys Superstore in Salisbury says he’s ‘totally excited’ to be part of this year’s appeal. The Churchill Way store will be opening their doors early to enable a second live-streamed ‘trolley dash’ of frantic toy acquisitions in December.

Appeal co-organiser Andy Munns from mySalisbury.co.uk said, “Last year was such an amazing success that it needed no thought at all when Louise said she wanted to repeat the effort. I hope that we can exceed the number of toys that were distributed last year and I am really looking forward to grabbing as many toys as possible in the trolley dash.”

To the sounds of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’, the Appeal was officially launched on Salisbury Radio this morning, when breakfast show host Craig Hicks said, “There are so many families around South Wiltshire and West Hampshire who – through no fault of their own – find this time of year a genuine struggle, constantly balancing paying the bills and putting food on the table up against trying to find a little extra to put a smile on children’s faces at Christmas.

“It’s great to work with Louise and Andy again to make a genuine difference to hundreds of vulnerable children who without your kindness would have nothing to look forward to on Christmas Day. Just a simple donation from you can make a huge difference and give them something to smile about.”

Donated toys can be dropped at 1st Self Access Storage at Old Sarum Park while local businesses are encouraged to buy a door on the Appeal’s unique video advent calendar, where their company is uncovered live on the radio and across social media during December.

Appeal founder Louise concludes, “The thought of any child not having a present to open from Father Christmas is awful, so let’s do what we can to help as many as we possibly can.”

You can show your support by:

  • Donating online via the Crowdfunding Page
  • Buying a gift online and have it delivered to our very own Santa’s workshop at 1st Self Access Storage, Unit,1a Castle Gate Business Park, Old Sarum, Salisbury, SP4 6QX

Local businesses can get involved by:

  • Collecting toys from staff and customers
  • Sponsoring an advent calendar window with mySalisbury and Salisbury Radio for £150.
  • Asking for monetary donations from staff, friends, and family and either purchase new toys yourself or simply add the funds to the JustGiving page.
  • Displaying posters in your place of work showing your support of the appeal
  • Posting like crazy all over your Social Media
  • Or any idea you may have! Every single penny or toy makes a big difference.
Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty