A selection of Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust (WWSET) staff members were invited to play Santa’s Elves for the day at the Chiltern Toy Bank in Chesham on Monday 22nd November 2021. And we willingly obliged by lending a hand as the charity prepare for a very busy festive period making children’s dreams come true.
This is the eighth year that the Chiltern Toy Bank has been working in the Chesham and Amersham area collecting unwanted toys, or generously-donated new toys and redistributing them to families who need extra support at Christmas time. The incredible donations they receive from local organisations and individuals allow them to help families make Christmas a little more special for their children.
Samantha Horsman from the Chiltern Toy Bank said, “As a charity we rely heavily on volunteers who give up their time around Christmas to become our Toy Bank Elves, helping collect, clean, sort, pick, pack and deliver gifts to families in time for Christmas.”
There is no shortage of support for the charity either, as organisations such as The Entertainer, Restore Hope, and Peace in the Park partner with them, and they also receive some funding through local and Government schemes. This allows them to run their warehouse in Chesham and buy those extra touches for stocking fillers and provide families with wrapping paper, sellotape and batteries, so Christmas is no longer a stressful day, but a time to enjoy!
WWSET have been asking Chairboys fans to donate wrapping paper over the last three home fixtures against Portsmouth, Hartlepool United and Bolton Wanderers, and we thank you so much for your support. We were able to arrive with two massive boxes of wrapping paper which will go a long way towards helping the Chiltern Toy Bank out. As well as actually delivering the presents to families in need, the charity also provide this wrapping paper, along with tape and cards, as part of the package.
From left to Right: WWSET Head of Sports Participation Kirk Williams, WWSET Head of Education Mark Guildea, WWSET Activity Programmes Manager Andy Homent, WWSET Head of Health Simon Wears, Head of WWSET Paul Foley, Samantha Horsman from the Chiltern Toy Bank, and WWSET Head of Fundraising and Communications Mark Fawkes at the Chesham-based Chilterns Toy Bank.
The first job on the day was to move the donations from the slightly-less-organised chaos of the warehouse into the surprisingly well-organised sorting area, where the team got to work categorising them into toys, books, teddy bears, board games and all the other categories of donation that they had received.
The WWSET team were then tasked with creating 425 stocking filler bags over 4 age groups, which each contained a mini lego pack, a shower gel, a pack of toothbrushes, toothpaste, a savoury snack, a chocolate bar, a packet of sweets and three small age-appropriate presents. Despite something of a ban on Christmas songs in the office up to this point, it was only right that we fired up the Bluetooth speaker and let loose with classics from Roy Wood and Wizzard, John and Yoko, Band Aid, Mariah Carey and Cliff Richard – which went down particularly well!
WWSET staff members will be revisiting this project in a couple of weeks when the team will help distribute these gifts in the High Wycombe area. The miracle-workers at the Chiltern Toy Bank open applications up to the whole of South Buckinghamshire but the operation is run by entirely volunteers and receives no funding, so relies on merry helpers to support the distribution.
All of the Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust left the Chiltern Toy Bank in absolute awe of the work they do and are more than happy to support them in their endeavours. Christmas has well and truly started at WWSET Towers now, and we encourage anyone who has some spare time to get involved!
If you would like any more information about Chiltern Toy Bank or are an organisation interested in working with them in future years, please contact one of their Trustees at email@example.com – they would love to hear from you!