Huge toy donation helps families in need

A cancer nurse from TAVISTOCK helped make Christmas magical for hundreds of families this year with her toy recycling project.

Thousands of toys were donated at a recent pop-up event at the United Reformed Church in Tavistock after an appeal was made to mum-of-two Isabel Williams.

Isabel first had the idea of ​​passing on unused toys to those who need them during an emptying.

As she was filling a few bags with toys that her children no longer used, Isabel thought about the best way to use these toys and decided that she wanted to give them to families in the local community who did not have them. ways to spend a lot of money on gifts. Christmas.

Isabel said: “I had never done anything like this before. I was involved with the local volunteer group during the lockdown to deliver food and medicine, but this idea arose out of a simple cleanup; I really wanted to make a difference.

She posted the idea to friends and family online and when Salvation Army Pamela Smith saw her post she was quick to respond – understandably drawn to the idea and eager to help anyone. the possible ways. From there, things started to snowball quickly.

Anyone with unwanted toys has been encouraged to donate to ensure that no child in the community is deprived of a Christmas present this year.

Thanks to Pamela’s network of contacts in charitable circles, the two ladies were quickly able to secure the Tavistock United Reformed Church Hall as their venue for their event earlier this month. The Tavistock Library and Mime Cafe served as drop-off points for toy donations.

Isabel was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of donations received, some of which were brand new and many as new.

With the help of her husband Pete (who runs Drake’s Auctions) and her mom Pamela, Isabel was able to transport, store and sort several thousand items donated in preparation for the event, which turned out to be a huge success. .

Some of the hundreds of people who came also wanted to give money as a thank you, although it was not an obligation. Almost £ 100 was donated and went to the Tavistock Children’s Center.

Isabel said it was something she would like to do again: “Not only did it help people, but they were also very grateful,” she said. “They say it meant a lot to them.

“It worked really well as a model and I would love to see other communities embrace the idea and roll it out. It’s a pretty big business, but it’s a great thing to do.

It was not only those who attended the event who benefited from the large number of donations – Isabel was also able to pass boxes loaded with toys, books and games to the Tavistock Children’s Center, the Gamba Project and several at the Trevi house. charité, a pioneering residential rehabilitation program for women with their children, for the ten children who currently reside there. Some are also entrusted to a women’s shelter.

Isabel still has toys so if anyone is looking for gifts to give to her little ones this Christmas, contact her via her email: or via her Facebook profile https: //www.facebook .com / isabel.lamb.92

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