Pictured in the photo is Bill Bowley (left) and Joel Brocklehurst.

Toys on the Table Trustee Bill Bowley and Action Executive Office Joel Brocklehurst.

Students launch festive campaign to ensure all children have presents to open this Christmas

Students from Loughborough University have launched a toy appeal to ensure Leicestershire children, who would otherwise receive nothing, have presents to open on Christmas Day.

Action, the volunteering section of Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU), has teamed up with Toys on the Table for ‘Operation Jingle Bells’ – a festive campaign that looks to collect a total of 500 new gifts and toys.

Each year, the Leicestershire-based Toys on the Table provides thousands of Christmas presents to children of all religions living in the counties of Leicestershire and Rutland, but the charity is only able to do so with the support of the general public.

The Action team is hoping staff, students and members of the community will join them in backing the worthy cause and will donate a gift this December to ensure everyone has a very merry Christmas.

Action Executive Office Joel Brocklehurst said: “Action does amazing things for the community throughout the year and I am incredibly proud to be the Head of such an amazing section.

“This year I was made aware of the charity Toys on the Table and the work they do, and the thought of a child potentially not receiving a gift at Christmas was heart-breaking.

“I hope staff, students and members of the local community will get into the spirit of this time of year and help such a worthwhile campaign.”

A full-sized sleigh is being installed inside the Student’s Union today (Monday 3 December) and this will act as the central donation point for toys and gifts.

Those wishing to donate a present and support the initiative are asked to:

  • Ensure the gift is new and in its original wrapping (there are no age limits for gifts however a maximum age of 16-years-old is recommended)
  • Spend no more than £10 on the donation
  • Leave the present unwrapped – students will take care of that!
  • Drop by Santa’s Sleigh and donate before the 14 December

A mini winter wonderland event, called ‘Operation Jingle Bells: Donation Day’, will also take place on campus on 11 December to encourage everyone to get into the gift-giving spirit.

The event is free to attend and open to all; it will run from 12pm-4pm and feature real reindeers, snow, mince pies, hot drinks, a Christmas photo booth and more.

Commenting on the University’s campaign, Mac Clarke, Chairman of Toys on the Table, said: “We really appreciate the support of Loughborough University and it will mean we can ensure more children receive toys. It’s great that the students have got onboard.”

Bill Bowley, a Trustee of the charity, added: “The young people of the University set a wonderful example of how the youth of today are willing to help those who are less fortunate than themselves.”

Further information on Operation Jingle Bells can be found on the dedicated webpage.

The location of Operation Jingle Bells: Donation Day is subject to weather conditions – it will either take place inside or outside the Students’ Union.