Camden mayor launches annual toy appeal as families struggle with ‘unprecedented’ cost-of-living crisis

The toy appeal is a yearly event in Camden. Photograph: Camden Council

The mayor has launched the annual toy appeal to bring festive cheer to some of the most needy children in Camden.

Nasim Ali asked for donations of new toys, toiietries, gift vouchers or clothes to bring a smile to children’s faces on Christmas Day.

He said: “This Christmas will be a very difficult time for many families in Camden who will be struggling, more so during this unprecedented time.”

He added: “Looking after each other and doing all we can for our communities has never been more important.”

The appeal comes as Camden politicians heard from charities about how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting families, with children going to school without enough lunch and people suffering from hygiene poverty.

Nearly 40 per cent of the borough’s children are living in poverty and there are 25,000 low-income households in Camden.

Charities, schools and Camden Citizens Advice told the council how families are suffering.

Charities are collecting toiletries, nappies and sanitary products to help those in need and some sports clubs are reporting that people are coming to use the hot shower.

Donations to the Mayor’s Toy Appeal are distributed to families by Camden Family Services, social workers and early help teams.

Cllr Ali asked people to buy toys online if possible and send them to the mayor’s office on the second floor of the Crowndale Centre on Eversholt Street.

People should check that any toys have the CE or UKCA safety mark.

The mayor is also planning skydiving next April and an abseiling challenge to raise money for his nominated charity Hopscotch, which supports vulnerable women. 

He told councillors he is looking for recruits to join these fundraising ventures.

He said that those who would rather not jump out of a plane “might find it easier to walk down a building”, but suggested fellow politicians can give a donation instead.

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