2016 campaign aims to treat hundreds of local youngsters this Christmas

Your generosity can bring joy to families who would otherwise go without
Your generosity can bring joy to families who would otherwise go without

People in north east Fife are being asked to add an extra gift to their Christmas shopping list again this year to help local children and families in need.

The Toy Drive officially gets under way on Tuesday, November 1, and it’s hoped that it will be even more successful than last year’s campaign, when hundreds of children throughout north east Fife benefited.

Now in its fourth year, the Toy Drive was the brainchild of Victoria Leonard, a social worker with the child and families team based in Cupar.

She saw at first hand how many children were missing out on presents at Christmas as their families struggled financially.

She’s formed close links with professionals like health visitors and teachers as well as groups such as Families First and Homestart to identify the most deserving.

The Toy Drive has caught the imagination of businesses, schools and individuals throughout north east Fife and now there are more than 30 collection points throughout the area.

The aim is to make sure that every child involved gets a gift, a book and a stocking filler, which people are being asked to donate new and unwrapped.

The Toy Drive runs until November 30, when a veritable army of volunteers will collect the donations and wrap them up ready to be loaded in to Santa’s sleigh.

None of the volunteers know the identity of any of the children who’ll receive the gifts, but will wrap them according to age and gender.

Toys can be suitable for all age groups, from babies to 18-year-olds.

Thanks to the generosity of the public, last year some 360 children from 178 families received a Santa sack with at least five gifts in it, while Tesco in Riverside, Dundee, provided toys and food hampers and the Foodbank in Cupar provided fresh Christmas dinners.

The Toy Drive also boxed up crates of toys, books, pyjamas and toiletries for the Syrian families living in Fife.

Kilmaron School in Cupar, whose pupils have complex support needs, also received a large box of appropriate toys, including musical instruments and sensory toys.

“I can’t thank people enough for their generosity,” said Victoria.

“We had fantastic support last year and we hope to do even better in 2016.”

Once again North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins is supporting the Toy Drive, and his local constituency office in Bonnygate, Cupar, will be among the collection points for donations.

He said: “Now in its fourth year, Toy Drive has made a massive difference to so many children across North East Fife who may otherwise not receive a gift on Christmas Day.

“It is awful to think that this is the case, but thanks to the hard-working team at Toy Drive and the great generosity of people across the area, who exemplify the true spirit of Christmas by thinking of others, Toy Drive ensures that gifts get to those who are most in need.

“The constituency office will once again act as a collection point for donations of new gifts .

“ I wish the organisers every success with this very important project, which has touched the hearts of many local people.”

From this Tuesday, November 1, you can donate new, unwrapped gifts at the following collection points:

CUPAR –

Castle Furniture

AM Soccer

Bell Baxter High School,

Cupar Brownies, Rainbows and Guides

Westfield Family Nurture Centre

Coffee and Kilts

Castlehill Primary School

Office of Stephen Gethins

Ceres Primary School

Kilmaron School

Crossgate Centre

TAYBRIDGEHEAD

Newport Primary School Leuchars Primary School Harbour Cafe, Tayport

Tayport Primary School

Balmullo Primary School

Leuchars Community Centre

Guardbridge Primary School

Balmerino Primary School

Granary Lane Sheltered Housing complex, Newport

ST ANDREWS

Canongate Primary School

Forgan’s

The Storehouse

Madras College

St Andrews Nursery Centre

Hope Park and Martyrs’ Church

EAST NEUK

Largoward Primary School

Waid Academy

Anstruther Primary School

Largoward Primary School

HOWE of FIFE

Letham Primary School

STAR, Flisk

Ladybank Primary School

Anyone else who would like to offer their premises as a collection point or would like to help in other ways, please contact the Toy Drive co-ordinator, Victoria Leonard, at toydrivefife@gmail.com or via the Facebook page