Rotherham Christmas Toy Appeal returns for 2022

This year has been tough on a lot of households as the cost of living crisis continues to squeeze our finances.

Christmas adds even more pressure to families already struggling to pay for essentials. But this year, if you are able to, you can support the Rotherham Christmas Toy Appeal to make sure no child goes without at Christmas time.

The appeal is co-ordinated by Ann Levick of Families First, plus a team of elves who are all volunteers to ensure the children and young people of Rotherham have a happy, joyful Christmas day. What started as redistributing second-hand toys in the 1990s has since grown to an appeal which provided gifts to over 2,000 children and young people last year.

Each year it becomes more difficult to fulfil the requests, due to the rising prices of gifts and the increase in children and young people in need of a gift. However, Ann has every faith in the people of Rotherham, who have come together year after year to support the toy appeal.

“There are people with little to give, who still find some way to give what they can to the appeal and it is something Rotherham should be very proud of,” Ann says.

Rotherham’s Christmas Toy Appeal is once again supported by Parkgate Shopping, local radio and press, churches, schools and members of the public. The volunteers work with child-focused organisations such as Rotherham Council, Rema and Barnardo’s to find the families most in need.

How can you support Rotherham Christmas Toy Appeal?

If you would like to get involved, the next time you’re at Parkgate Shopping Centre then look for the giving trees which have tags on them. Pick a tag, purchase a gift for that age range, and hand it in – unwrapped – to any store or the security office. You can also hand any gifts in to Voluntary Action Rotherham or Rotherham Town Hall.

The elves will then ‘go shopping’ from the donations and match the toys or gifts up with the recipients from their referral list based on what that child has said they may like from Santa. Ann and the team aim to ensure all children have a gift, soft toy and stocking filler, so even the smallest donations will go a long way to a child’s happiness at Christmas.

If you are unable to shop, or would prefer to donate money, there is also a Just Giving page