Friends raise funds for Christmas gifts for Hackney and Islington children

Social worker Cat Taylor and Fashion Buyer Jenna Nicholson are raising funds to ensure every child in Hackney and...

Social worker Cat Taylor and Fashion Buyer Jenna Nicholson are raising funds to ensure every child in Hackney and Islington gets a present this Christmas. - Credit: Cat Taylor

Two best friends from North London are appealing for donations to buy Christmas gifts for children in Islington and Hackney.

Their appeal has already raised more than £3,000 but social worker Cat Taylor and Fashion buyer Jenna Nicholson say more donations are “urgently” needed to ensure every child in the neighbouring boroughs receives a present this year.

Cat said: “As a social worker I have seen first hand how poverty can affect children both immediately and in life their life journey.

“Many children who live in extreme poverty don’t get any presents at Christmas which can be highly traumatic, especially when they return to school to speak to their friends who may have received a number of presents.

“This trauma impacts self esteem and confidence far beyond the Christmas period.”

READ MORE: Hackney organisation raises funds to support families this Christmas


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Government data from 2018-19 showed 30 per cent of children in the UK or nine in a classroom of 30 were living in poverty, with that figure likely to increase following the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact on the country.

The pair are making the appeal with Hackney-based Local Buyers Club, an online membership club supporting independent businesses in London, so, every gift given will be bought from an independent business.

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Local Buyers Club runs the appeal and distributes new toys to around 4,000 children every year. The gifts are given out via social workers, schools, children’s centres, hostels, refuges and food banks.

“Our appeal has been really successful and has already raised over £3600 but we urgently need more donations to ensure we can reach every child in need this year,” Cat added.

“Due to the pandemic, the need has increased dramatically.

“We are also trying to team up with local businesses, such as local toy shops, to ensure the money raised goes back into the local community who have also suffered through this pandemic and not big companies.

“We are asking people to be generous and kind and so far, people have been so generous.”

Cat hopes more local businesses will get involved, particularly those that can provide items for teenagers like headphones.

To donate and for more information visit Gofundme.com/f/z53kh3-winter-toy-appeal or click here

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