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'Generous' response by Bexley Times readers to our Christmas toy appeal for chYps charity

PUBLISHED: 10:46 12 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:46 12 December 2013

Steve and Sandra Beaney

Steve and Sandra Beaney

Archant

The faces of seriously ill children will light up with joy this Christmas thanks to the warm-hearted response of Bexley Times readers to our charity appeal.

We’re asking for you to donate new toys and unwanted Christmas gifts to charity chYps, which provides hospice at home care for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions in Bexley and Kent.

And judging by the pile of toys building up at participating business Kitchen Concepts in Blackfen Road, Sidcup, you are coming through in spades.

Before and after Christmas, businesses are kindly collecting the toys, which will go straight to the charity’s patients, and the unwanted gifts, which can be resold in the charity’s 14 shops across Kent and Bexley.

Steve Beaney, 65, who co-owns Kitchen Concepts with his wife Sandie, 62, was pleased to see an anonymous customer come in with five packages on Friday.

Thanks to her, some of the more than 100 children and young people chYps regularly helps can enjoy Paper Jamz toy guitars and learning pads which teach children about maths and music and allow them to play games.

Mr Beaney said: “It is generous.

“I’ve put them in the front window so if people pull up, they can see them there.”

He added that his business is a regular supporter of charitable causes and he sings in a barbershop quartet which also helps Saint Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham.

He said: “Near to our heart is The Jimmy Mizen Foundation, we know them personally. It was on our doorstep. We support whatever they do.”

Last weekend, the couple delved into their own attic to pull out some toys for our charity appeal. Mr Beaney said it was better to donate such items, rather then let them “take up space in someone’s loft to stagnate”.

He added: “I think there’s a lot of generosity out there. I think it makes people feel good.”

The kindness of people in Bexley can also be seen at We Love Cakes in Bexley High Street.

Owner Julie Hill, 42, was more than happy to back our appeal and, after publicising it on Facebook, she’s seen customers respond with lots of Christmas treats for children who benefit from the charity’s services.

She’s already collected toys and books including a Winnie the Pooh toy, a doll’s tea-making set, a toy rocket launcher, a play cooking set and a toy plane.

Ms Hill said she was keen to get involved because it’s “a children’s hospice”.

She added: “I’ve always supported them and it’s good for local businesses to get involved.

“Probably a lot of people do [support children’s charities] because it’s children. That tugs at people’s heartstrings.”

For more on ChYps, visit www.chyps.org.uk or email tracie.dempster@chyps.org.

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