READING Family Aid's Toys and Teens Appeal is well underway, with toys and gifts being dropped at donation points located all over Reading.

Sponsored by The Reading Chronicle, this annual toy appeal collects and redistributes new or ‘as new’ toys, to deprived 0 – 16 year olds at Christmas.

READ ALSO: Reading Football Club legend shows support for Toys and Teens Appeal.

The appeal has a profound effect on families and children who receive these gifts each year.

One such recipient, Paige, remembers the difference the appeal made to her when she was younger.

She explained: “My mum was a single parent, she wasn't very close to her family so [she] didn't have their support, and she battled a few of her own struggles too (mental health, partners that didn't work out), so found herself from job to job often without a stable income.

"Mum scrimped and scraped to always make sure we had a roof over our heads and did the very best she could for us in the circumstances she was facing.

"We had free school meals so benefitted from free school trips etc, so it wasn't too obvious to my peers.

"One year, we were living in a women’s and children’s haven after moving out from [her] abusive partner.

"We received a Christmas box and some nice toiletries/pjs etc.

"It was the gesture more than anything that meant the most."

READ ALSO: Reading Family Aid urging people to donate toys as part of Toys and Teens Appeal.

Paige believes the Toys and Teens Appeal is important so that children and young people don't miss out because of their family circumstances.

She added: "Whilst presents are not the be all and end all at Christmas, to a child they mean a great deal.

"Nobody wants to be that child that goes back to school after the Christmas holidays and has to listen to their friends talk about all the presents they received, whilst they didn't.

"It can make you feel so inferior and unconfident.

"Imagine seeing your own children with nothing to open on Christmas morning.

"Christmas is all about love, happiness and family, and for some children this might be the only gift they receive this year.

"For those with little else, this Christmas present could be everything.”

If you can, please donate a new or nearly new toy to the Toys and Teens Appeal.

Whether it's through your place of work, children's school or items dropped off at one of Reading Family Aid’s donation points, every gift donated will make a difference, and help to put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas.

The donation points are open today and remain open until Sunday December 1.

For more information, click here.

If you can’t reach one of the donation points, please see the Amazon wish list - any toys purchased will be delivered directly to the charity.


Caversham Homecraft, Caversham

Caversham Library, Caversham

New Bridge Nursery, Caversham

Crescent Centre, Earley

St Barnabas Church, Emmer Green

Lower Earley Library

The Club at Mapledurham, Chazey Heath

Big Yellow Storage, 27 Rose Kiln Lane

Southcote Library

Leighton Park School (new addition to the list)

Spencers Wood Library

Norcot Early Years Centre, Tilehurst

Tilehurst Library

Birch Copse Primary School, Tilehurst

Reading Voluntary Action (RVA), Reading Town Centre

Sainsbury's, (Friar Street), Reading Town Centre

Civic Centre, Reading Town Centre

Reading Farmer’s Market, Reading Town Centre

World Shop, Reading Town Centre

Interserve, Twyford

Battle Library, West Reading

Tesco Extra, Portman Road

The Oakwood Centre, Woodley

Winnersh Primary School

Willow Bank Junior School, Woodley

Woodley Library