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Islington police launch Christmas toy drive for kids in need

PUBLISHED: 09:12 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:33 24 November 2016

Left to right: Pc David Williams, Sofie Pospisilova, Lara Pospisilova, borough commander Det Ch Supt Catherine Roper. Picture: Robert Burbidge

Left to right: Pc David Williams, Sofie Pospisilova, Lara Pospisilova, borough commander Det Ch Supt Catherine Roper. Picture: Robert Burbidge

Robert Burbidge

Hundreds of Islington’s neediest children will receive a Christmas present this year courtesy of an army of Islington gift-givers.

Left to right: Finola Culbert, competition winner Sofie Pospisilova's parents Joseph and Lada Pospisilova, Sofie's sister Lara, Sofie, and Islington borough commander Det Ch Supt Catherine Roper. Picture: Robert Burbidge Left to right: Finola Culbert, competition winner Sofie Pospisilova's parents Joseph and Lada Pospisilova, Sofie's sister Lara, Sofie, and Islington borough commander Det Ch Supt Catherine Roper. Picture: Robert Burbidge

It is part of the police’s Christmas drive, which launched formally last night with trees at Angel and Archway stations.

People took tags off the trees telling them the age and gender of the child they were buying for, before handing gifts in at police stations.

Finsbury Park charity The Toy Project, run by Jane Garfield, took 100 tags and the rest were gone soon after. Borough commander Catherine Roper is “thrilled”.

“Our ambition is that no child will be without a present this Christmas,” she said, “and I ask the thoughtful and generous people who work and live in Islington to support the appeal.

Pc David Williams receives 80 gifts from Finsbury Park's Toy Project charity - with 20 more close behind. Picture: Met Police Pc David Williams receives 80 gifts from Finsbury Park's Toy Project charity - with 20 more close behind. Picture: Met Police

“I would like to thank Islington Council for their help in ensuring the presents are received by children across the borough, and to Jane Garfield from the Toy Project UK, Hak from Absolute Print, Butlers Angel Central and Camden Garden Centre who have given so generously in trees, presents, decorations, mince pies, posters and other donations to help support not just the launch but also the appeal itself.

“Last year, I couldn’t believe the generosity of our communities – and from the donations we are already receiving, I think it will be even more successful.

“Thank you so much.”

Finola Culbert from Islington Council’s children’s services department added the town hall was “very happy” to work with police on the project.

A poster to front the competition was designed by New North Academy student Sofie Pospisilova, who attended the launch with her sister Lara and her parents Joseph and Lada.

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