Politicians united in support of our Times Toy Appeal

PUBLISHED: 10:37 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 17:24 25 August 2010

GIFTS: Bexley Mayor and Mayoress Bernard and Edna Clewes.

GIFTS: Bexley Mayor and Mayoress Bernard and Edna Clewes.

COUNCIL mayors have been matching our readers generosity by donating gifts to our toy appeal. Mayor of Bexley, Bernard Clewes MBE and his Mayoress, Edna Clewes

COUNCIL mayors have been matching our readers' generosity by donating gifts to our toy appeal.

Mayor of Bexley, Bernard Clewes MBE and his Mayoress, Edna Clewes and Bromley Mayor and Mayoress Douglas and Pat Auld have given a selection of toys for the Kentish Times Christmas Toy Appeal 2009.

Donating dolls and toy cars, Mr Clewes said: "What a wonderful appeal! This is such a special and important gift that the Kentish Times organises each year and I am happy and proud to support it.

"My hope is that the children who have to spend time in hospital over the Christmas period are able to enjoy these gifts."

Handing over a 'Happyland' game, Mr Auld said: "The Mayoress and I are delighted to be part of this wonderful scheme and to donate a gift for one of the children unfortunate enough to be in hospital at this time of year. I wish them all a speedy recovery.

"I congratulate the staff of the Kentish Times for organising this more than worthwhile cause."

Greenwich Mayor, Allan MacCarthy donated a fun electric guitar.

He said: "I am delighted to support such a worthy cause, to make Christmas special for those children in hospital. I would encourage people to donate whatever they can."

Meanwhile, London Mayor Boris Johnson sent a message of support although he said he was unable to donate to the appeal.

He said: "What a fantastic campaign and all the readers of the Times should get involved as much as they can.

"There are so many children who spend Christmas in hospital without the many gifts or the family care we take for granted at this time of year."

Last year saw hundreds of children receive a gift despite the start of a recession and the Mayor urged readers to once again, dig deep and put a smile on the faces of poorly children.

Mr Johnson said: "I know that the Toy Appeal is in its third year and I applaud your papers for their efforts in supporting four hospitals across their area.

"This is no easy task and takes a lot of commitment and a lot of support from readers - I urge you all to get donating now."

His youth tsar, James Cleverly, Assembly member for Bexley and Bromley has bought a gift for local children and was due to hand it over to our offices today (Thursday).

Scores of toys have been delivered to our Sidcup and Gravesend offices by our generous readers, many even dropping off bags anonymously so we can't thank them by name.

Reader Pam Honda, an artist from Crayford, runs Heart Healing Art classes for people with mental health problems donated cards and art materials.

She said: "With Heart Healing Art I go and about visiting people affected by mental health problems and I was drawn to the Toy Appeal because these children are similarly constrained by their circumstances.

"It's important that we try to help in whatever way we can and offer some form of distraction to lift them out of their situation.

"I made these little books because I think it's important that they have something that will capture their imagination and that is personal.

"Christmas has become so robotic and commercial, people spend hundreds on presents for their family, but what about other, less fortunate people? We cannot forget them."

Thanks also to other readers including Emma Lawrence, of The Green, Welling, who kindly donated books and a craft set to the appeal and an anonymous man who delivered a large bagful of books and CDs.

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