East London's Christmas toy appeal to bring festive cheer to families struggling in the capital

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The East London's Business Alliances (ELBA) annual appeal for children's toys this Christmas has begun.

It is hoped that the donations can go to help those parents who are in need at this time of year.

The donated items can be dropped off at the Santa's Grotto in Canary Wharf.

After gifts have been delivered at the grotto, the toys will be distributed to over 95 community organisations in Islington and East London, to ensure they get into the hands of those most in need this festive season.

Kita Berman van Heerden, Project manager at ELBA said: "This year we received a request for 21,000 toys, which is an unprecedented number for us which is evident from the cost of living crisis and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

"What I would say to people is this appeal is more than just gifting a toy to a child this Christmas, it is actually creating life long memories for many children and families whilst showing that people care about the communities they live in."

Some of the toys donated by the public so far Credit: ITV News London

The appeal aims to support families who are fleeing domestic violence, living in emergency temporary accommodation, refugees, and children with disabilities and additional needs.

Mirian, a first time mum who is benefiting from ELBA's support this year said: "Growing up in the borough of Newham I have seen families with children who struggle a lot at this time of year.

"My family emigrated here and we did not have a lot but things things like this really help out lots of families like me."

In 2020, ELBA collected and distributed more than 22,000 toys to children across the capital and they are hoping for another big year of generosity.

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