Toy appeal will bring 'a smile to faces'

Wisbech Christmas Toy Appeal raised funds at annual bingo night

Paul Albutt (second from left) and Annie Woods are running their annual Wisbech Toy Appeal to help make a difference to Fenland children and their families. - Credit: Paul Albutt

Paul Albutt and Annie Woods have no targets or expectations through their Christmas toy appeal, but if they can make a difference to at least one child, it is mission complete. 

“With the way things are, we just want to bring a smile to kids’ faces on Christmas morning; that’s the best we can do,” said Paul. 

The pair are once again running the Wisbech Toy Appeal to help provide vulnerable children and their families in Fenland a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons. 

So far, Paul and Annie have helped raise £2,100 through a bingo fundraising night at Wisbech St Mary’s sports and community centre, something they could not do last year. 

Paul predicts that sum hopes to pay for around 210-220 toys, and have contacted primary schools in the Wisbech area as part of their appeal. 

“We are liaising with a lot of schools at the moment because they are the ones in a better position than anybody to know who the children are,” he said. 

“Myself and Annie said if we got 30-40 toys last year, that is more than what we expected due to the situation as it was then, so to come out with 400 was brilliant. 

“It shows the community works together and that there is a hell of a lot of good people out there. 

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“We were overwhelmed with the support.” 

Paul and Annie are also in partnership with Tesco to help raise more funds towards the appeal.  

They have organised various drop-off points in and around Wisbech for toys, other gifts and local businesses have also offered a helping hand, too. 

Since they launched the campaign in 2018, Paul and Annie have had to deal with challenges along the way, such as Covid, but they are determined not to let that stop achieving their aim. 

“Our expectations are never high – in fact, there is no target at all,” Paul added. 

“But we are pleased and forever grateful for what everybody has done for us. 

“We just want to try and help as many kids as we can.   

“For our satisfaction, if we make a difference to one child, then we have succeeded.” 

For more information on how you can help the Wisbech Toy Appeal, call Paul on 01945 410610.