Local charity wants your old toys for this year’s “Big IZ toy give”

Volunteers Jess Doyle and Kim Nyamhondera help with the toy sorting

Volunteers Jess Doyle and Kim Nyamhondera help with the toy sorting - Credit: Archant

Got an old toy box that’s full of stuff you or your children haven’t used in years? Want to help get those toys to kids more in need?

Children play with some of the toys donated

Children play with some of the toys donated - Credit: Archant

Islington charity the Toy Project is appealing for donations for this year’s “Big Iz Toy Give”, which aims to take unwanted and unused toys from across the borough and redistribute them to needy children whose parents aren’t able to buy new ones.

“The idea is to make sure those children who are suffering, or don’t have access to toys, are still able to enjoy them like any other child would,” said Jane Garfield, co-founder of the Toy Give.

“By 2020, our aim is to be the first London borough where every child has donated a toy.”

Started by the Toy Project last year, the initial drive only appealed to schools for donations, with 11 schools across Islington taking part.

Mel C supporting the cause

Mel C supporting the cause - Credit: Archant

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But the Toy Give is broadening its horizons this year, appealing to businesses and shops to help with their June collections.

“We haven’t had anyone say no yet, but not enough people know about it,” Jane told the Gazette.

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Last year, the Toy Give donated to organisations such as the Whittington Hospital and bereavement service Caris, but Jane says anyone is welcome to apply for toys. “We don’t ask any questions from anyone who wants toys from us,” she said.

“We just want to help them any way we can.

Two of the volunteers sharing a joke whilst sorting the toys

Two of the volunteers sharing a joke whilst sorting the toys - Credit: Archant

“We have this amazing opportunity to provide a service that helps children in need, and it’s really quite simple for us to do. Why wouldn’t we do it?”

The Toy Project, based in Durham Road since 2013, boasts Jason Donovan as its patron, and has even been supported in the past by such famous faces as Gok Wan and Mel C.

And even though the charity is currently looking for a new home to house all the donations it’s received, Jane is still urging people to give as much as they can.

“Nearly everyone’s got something they can spare – everyone’s got too many toys,” she said.

“Nothing goes to waste. We have a toymaker who uses any slightly broken ones to teach a workshop, so everything is appreciated.”

If you want to donate your old toys, simply go to thetoyproject.co.uk/recycled-toys.html to find out where you can

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