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Can you help Islington’s star-backed child charity find a home?

Gok Wan signing a toy for the auction Gok Wan signing a toy for the auction

Thursday, February 6, 2014
8:59 AM

A celebrity-backed charity that gives toys to seriously ill and bereaved youngsters has made a desperate plea for a Good Samaritan to donate an office.

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Robert LindsayRobert Lindsay

The Toy Project, currently in Kiver Road, Archway, was launched in November but has become so successful they need permanent premises because they are overloaded with toys from generous donors.

It’s run by former teacher Jane Garfield and pal Angela Donovan and their latest scheme – an online auction – has attracted support from the likes of newly-formed super group McBusted, Gok Wan, Robert Lindsay and Jason Donovan.


Ms Garfield sad: “We are growing so fast and really need an office space of our own.

“We have been inundated with toys and currently we work from home.

“We have been running projects where schoolchildren bring in unwanted toys and they have been so generous. It can be 400 toys a time.

“The plan was always not to take any kind of salary for the first year, so if someone could let us use some unwanted space we would be so grateful.”

Their celebrity toy auction – which takes place on Valentine’s Day – has captured the imagination of many famous people who are either donating or signing a toy to be sold to the highest bidder.

“People have been so supportive,” said Ms Garfield, who used to work at Ambler Primary School in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park.

“We try to match the toys with the celebrity. So Rufus Hound signed some kind of dog, Gok Wan signed a little kitchen and Jason Donovan singed a pink Barbie bus – like the bus in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

They hope to raise the £5,000 they need to become a registered charity.

Every year in the UK more than 20,000 children under the age of 18 experience the death of a parent.

The Toy Project tries to bring a smile to these children’s faces, as well as youngsters in hospitals and hospices, including the Caris Project, in Finsbury Park – by giving them a present, even something a simple as a teddy bear to cuddle at night.

Anyone who can help with their pleas for office space can email

For more information about the auction, visit

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