Students bring joy to children with Grantham Toy Bank

Nicholas Farrington,  David Parrish,  Sam Bevan and Ashley Willows at the shop in Market Place.
Nicholas Farrington, David Parrish, Sam Bevan and Ashley Willows at the shop in Market Place.

A school-run Toy Bank, which collects Christmas presents for needy children, has sent out 100 donations in just a few days.

Sixth formers at Grantham’s King’s School have launched the project – based in a shop in Market Place.

The aim is to allow students to undertake various management roles, ranging from communication and advertising to toy collection and frontline shop management, under the leadership of Year 13 student David Parrish.

Head of sixth form Nathan Whales said: “There has been strong group of sixth form working behind the lead team which has resulted in a flourishing charitable project, which after two half days and one full day of opening has seen donations go to exactly 100 children – and we have another six days to go!”

The premises in which the Toy Bank is operating are being rented out free of charge by Grantham Estates. B&Q and Notions Antique Centre donated the shelving, John Lewis donated wrapping paper and Print Bureau provided leaflets and a shop banner.

The initial premise of the project was that all of the toys would be donated by the student body and recycled into the community, but as the project grows, more and more companies and families from outside the school have felt motivated to support the scheme and have donated extremely generously.

“We are able to offer families three small presents, two medium presents and one large present, as well as a number of books and cuddle toys for each child,” said Mr Whales.

“Every present can be wrapped by our team of sixth form or parent helpers and hopefully the financial pressure for families has been lifted and they can concentrate of enjoying Christmas.

“The shop is not means-tested and is open to any family who feels they could do with some help.

“This is a project that costs us nothing and produces so much goodwill and happiness that we don’t want any sense of judgement or barrier to hold people back from using the shop. Every family is potentially one step away from financial pressure throughout the classes and if we can help the families who consider they need it then great, we are here for them and our community.”

He added: “The project allows our younger students to appreciate that not everyone is as lucky as perhaps they are.

“It allows our sixth form to develop in various capacities, it allows the King’s School to share goodwill at this festive time of year, it allows the community to feel a great sense of pride and togetherness and, perhaps most importantly, it allows every child to wake up on Christmas morning and enjoy the magic of a visit from Santa and parents to cherish the look in their eyes and the joy on their faces.”

The Toy Bank is open every day until Tuesday, December 20, between 10am and 6pm.