Toy Drive changes up a gear following early donations

December 2, 2019 by

The sixth annual Toy Drive is in full throttle as council elves find themselves overwhelmed with gifts and donations just two weeks into the charity project, and the elves are urging for more. 

To date, the council has received a fantastic 364 gifts, with many more still to be wrapped and counted as the council’s Toy Drive steers into the final three weeks, with the council aiming to beat the current record of 1552 gifts, which was recorded in 2017. 

On Monday 25 November, Arriva Buses donated an incredible £500 to the Toy Drive, which will be spent at local Toy Drive drop off store, Argosy Toys. If this wasn’t enough, Argosy Toys then doubled this amount, and the Toy Drive has now received a joint donation from Arriva Buses and Argosy Toys of a whopping £1,075 which will be spent on gifts for the Toy Drive. 

Joe Chesterton, director of festive cheer, said: “I am thrilled to see the Toy Drive pick-up pace so quickly. We are hopefully on course for our biggest year of donations to date and this recent donation from Arriva and Argosy Toys is incredible, I really can’t thank them enough.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, you are really going to help make a difference to the vulnerable children in Southend, and if anyone else is able to donate, there is still plenty of time to do so.”

Paul Wohl, owner of Argosy Toys, said: “We have been proud to support the Toy Drive for the past couple of years. We know that the council is able to get these presents to the children that need them the most and we are very happy to be their sponsor.” 

Lee Burvill-Eckett, of Arriva buses, said: “Nobody wants to see children go without at Christmas, and the Toy Drive is a great way of ensuring that everyone gets to open a present regardless of their circumstances. We are thrilled to support this cause.” 

What can you donate?

·         New toys only, suitable for babies, boys and girls aged up to 17 (if any toys require batteries, please include these too)

·         Vouchers for toys or days out

·         Selection packs

·         Pens, pencils and colouring books

·         Toiletry sets

If you would like to donate to the Toy Drive, please deliver the gift to the Civic Centre reception, Southend Pier, Argosy Toys, Toys ‘N’ Tuck or The Forum by December 15.

If you have any questions, or would like to support the Toy Drive, please call Lorraine on 01702 534923 or email