The Wokingham Paper

Helping everyone have a happy Christmas

THE SALVATION Army has teamed up with toy retailer The Entertainer to deliver presents to children who need them the most in a year when many family budgets have been hit hard.

The Big Toy Appeal invites customers – online or in-store – to gift a present to a family in need at Christmas. 

And for every toy donated, The Entertainer match gift, doubling the number of presents. 

This is the appeal’s third year with nearly 60,000 toys and books being donated so far.

In recent months, the Army has offered a range of support, including food banks and hot meals for people self-isolating, those shielding or simply unable to afford to cook. As a result, additional financial pressure to provide presents at Christmas will likely increase family hardship further.

Tony Daniels, director of community services for The Salvation Army, said: “The pandemic has brought some extremely difficult situations for families throughout this year. Christmas always brings extra demands on family budgets, but this year we’re anticipating it will be even more difficult for many. 

“The Big Toy Appeal allows us, with The Entertainer, to bring Christmas joy to families who need it the most right now.”

And the project is welcomed by the toy shop’s founder, Gary Grant. 

“The financial difficulties we are facing this year will mean overwhelming difficulties for families trying to give their children a joyful and magical Christmas,” he said. 

“Every child deserves to know they are special and the Big Toy Appeal is an opportunity for us to work together to help families celebrate the wonder of Christmas. 

“We are so grateful for the generosity of our customers.”

In order to ensure the toys reach families in time for December 25, the appeal closes on Saturday, November 28. 

Gifts can be bought online via and websites. The company has Entertainer branches in Bracknell and Reading, offering click and collect services.

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