Action Zones 

Toys and Tins Christmas Appeal 2010


The Toys and Tins appeal is a joint venture between Radio Norfolk and The Salvation Army.  The aim of the appeal is to distribute gifts of food and toys to families in difficult circumstances.  The scheme is supported through fund raising events; gift services held by churches; and direct appeal to the public
The main focus of the appeal is within the city of Norwich however; Salvation Army centres in others parts of the county also respond to requests.  The Great Yarmouth Corps is one such centre
How does the scheme work?
A group of representatives from the Salvation Army and Radio Norfolk meet regularly to determine the strategic aims of the appeal.  A subsidiary group meets to make practical arrangements for receiving and distributing gifts of food and toys.  In Great Yarmouth we have a Toys and Tins Co-Ordinator who manages this along with the Commanding Officers (Ministers)
There will be a launch in Great Yarmouth on Monday 22nd November.  There will be a BBC Radio Norfolk Toys and Tins Bus which will visit the Market Place along with a Salvation Army Band.  The bus will serve as a drop off point for the day however, donations can be made at any time at The Salvation Army Care and Share Shop located at 167 King Street Monday - Saturday, 09.00 - 15.30 or at the Citadel on either a Monday or Friday morning between 09.30 - 11.30 or on a Thursday from 12.00 - 14.00
Where do we operate from?
The scheme in Norwich operates with the generosity of the owners and management of Rose Lane Business Centre who provide premises for us to sort, pack and distribute the gifts.  In Great Yarmouth, the Borough Council has kindly provided us with premises this year to sort and pack the donations whilst the Citadel undergoes some building works.  As mentioned above, the Charity Shop / Citadel will play a vital role too
How do we select the families?
We contact a wide range of agencies in both the public and voluntary sectors who provide us with names of those they feel would benefit from receiving help.  This will involve for example Adult Social Services, Children's Services and Health Visitors along with schools, churches and GP surgeries.  There is no restriction on who can refer to us.  Details of how to refer people will be issued over the next few weeks.  This year there will be an online referral form rather than a paper based version.  There is a deadline for requests however; we will always aim to deal with any referrals made.  Although people can self refer, in the main, the vast majority of those we deal with have been referred to us by someone who knows their circumstances
Who does all the work?
The scheme is managed and operated by volunteers.  These include Salvation Army members, members of other churches and other interested people.  Additionally, the scheme in Norwich receives secretarial support from Norwich Citadel SA and Divisional Headquarters staff
How do we transport the gifts?
The majority of the food hampers and toys will be collected however, we are on occasion able to deliver a limited number of parcels should the need arise
What did we distribute last year in Great Yarmouth?
In 2009 we distributed the following:
  • 226 adults (many with gifts as well as food);
  • 267 children who all received presents;
  • 176 Food Hampers / Parcels ranging in size from enough food to feed one person over the Christmas period to enough for an entire family up to 10.
  • We also received monetary donations totalling around £600 last year which provided much needed funds to purchase gifts and toys / food items where needed
What was successful about this appeal?
The Appeal provides the opportunity for everyone to play their part; whether it's through the donating of food items or toys, to donating carrier bags (Boots, Superdrug and Poundland have all helped in this way in the past), to helping wrap and sort, to being available when people come to collect, to helping provide tea, coffee and refreshments, to helping clear away at the end of the day.  Whatever you can offer; rest assured your help will be warmly received and will really help to make a difference. 
From a personal perspective, I was completely overwhelmed at people's generosity and desire to help those less fortunate than them.  I believe it is a testament to everyone involved that we were able to help so many people. This was a real opportunity for the people of Great Yarmouth to join together as a community and support one another.  Seeing the smile on people's faces and the sigh of relief that Christmas may just be that little easier for them, made all the hard work and effort worthwhile.  We rely very heavily on public donation, those from our fellow churches and of course local businesses, organisations, societies and individuals, particularly at Harvest and Christmas time, and as always any donations received will be used throughout the year to help those in need.  We are already looking forward to an even bigger and better ‘Toys and Tins Appeal' this year
If I want to make a donation, what would you like?
Of course we need ‘toys' for boys and girls of all ages right from being a baby / toddler through to teenagers and young adults and all ages in between.  The toys must be brand new and carry the ‘kite' mark (British standard) or a CE (European Conformity) label.  Toys purchased from the UK high street should all carry these markings. Toiletry items / gift sets are a useful gift for older children.  Second hand / used goods can be donated and would be really useful however; these will instead go directly to the local Salvation Army Care and Share Shop to raise funds for the ongoing work here in Great Yarmouth.
We also need tins of meats / seasonal related food.  We have a basic hamper that consists of for example tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits, christmas pudding, mince pies.  We then add varying tins of fruit and vegetables and tinned meats.  It's the tinned meats that we need particular help with in terms of donations however; any items would be warmly received and put to good use
When can I volunteer to help?
We are planning to pack, sort and wrap the hampers and tins on the following dates:
Tuesday 7th December (10am-5pm)
Wednesday 8th December (10am-5pm)
Thursday 9th December (10am-5pm)              
Tuesday 14th December (10am-5pm)               
Wednesday 15th December (10am-5pm)          
Thursday 16th December (10am - 5pm) 
We are then planning for people to come and collect their hampers / toys on the following dates:
Tuesday 21st December (10am - 5pm) 
Wednesday 22nd December (10am - 5pm) 
Thursday 23rd December (10am - 5pm) 
Any help you can provide on any of these dates would be warmly appreciated.  Even if it's only for ½ hour or an hour or a morning or an afternoon, any help will be gratefully received
Who do I contact if I want to make a donation or volunteer or have any questions about what I can donate? 
Contact Lieutenants Rob or Georgina Symons via: 
01493 858 069 or 07771 207 187. 
Alternatively, you can email us at  
For more information visit and click the ‘Toys and Tins' link and click the ‘Toys and Tins' link
A real opportunity for the people of Great Yarmouth to join together as a community and support one another