You’re truly amazing! More than 3,000 Christmas gifts donated to our Toy Appeal

Sunderland legends, back from left,  Jimmy Montgomery, Dick Malone, Kevin Ball and Bobby Kerr with Andrew Taylor, 10, at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland legends, back from left, Jimmy Montgomery, Dick Malone, Kevin Ball and Bobby Kerr with Andrew Taylor, 10, at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

It has been another record breaking year with more than 3,000 gifts having been donated to our toy appeal.

Thanks to your generosity hundreds of sick and vulnerable children will wake up to a very special gift this Christmas morning.

Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, with Sunderland legends, from left, Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball and youngsters at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, with Sunderland legends, from left, Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball and youngsters at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

And it isn’t just children who will benefit, scores of pensioners, needy families and the homeless will also have something to look forward to.

The appeal was launched in November in partnership with Wearside Charity Hope 4 Kidz, which appealed for selection boxes and small gifts to help its annual children’s Christmas party extra special.

The free party is a highlight in the charity’s calendar and was attended by more than 400 disabled and vulnerable children.

Viv Watts, CEO of Hope 4 Kidz, said: “This year has once again been absolutely amazing and very humbling. There will be a lot of very happy children this year, who without the generosity of the public may not have received a gift this Christmas.

Viv Watts of Hope 4 Kidz  with Sunderland legends  Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball with staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Viv Watts of Hope 4 Kidz with Sunderland legends Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball with staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“We have been collecting and delivering present almost every day. People’s generosity is overwhelming.”

Sunderland Royal Hospital was just one of the recipients of your gifts, which were delivered to the children’s ward by former Sunderland football stars Kevin Ball, Jimmy Montgomery,Bobby Kerr and Dick Malone.

Other groups to benefit are Sunderland Area Parents Support group, North East Refugees, Centre Point, Liberty from Addiction, Contact and Referral, SNYP, Sunderland Carers, Women’s refuges and the YMCA in Fence Houses.

Our thanks also goes to the many designated drop off points without whose help our appeal would not be possible, these include Sainsbury’s in Silksworth, Wessington Way and Washington; Morrisons in Doxford Park and Seaburn, Tesco in The Bridges; Virgin Money, Fawcett Street and The Bridges; Hays Travel, Holmside and Wilkinsons.

Viv Watts of Hope 4 Kidz  with Sunderland legends  Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball with staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Viv Watts of Hope 4 Kidz with Sunderland legends Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball with staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Thanks too to all those at Arriva and Computer Share for their donations.

Gavin Foster, Managing editor at the Sunderland Echo, said: “We are once again humbled by the generosity of our readers, who have again helped to make our appeal the success that it is.

“We cannot thank you enough. You are all truly amazing.”

Staff from Virgin Money in Fawcett Street with some of the toys donated to the appeal.

Staff from Virgin Money in Fawcett Street with some of the toys donated to the appeal.

Rob, from Sainsburys Silksworth, with Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, and some of the toys donated to the appeal.

Rob, from Sainsburys Silksworth, with Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, and some of the toys donated to the appeal.

Gifts donated to the appeal at Morrisons in Seaburn.

Gifts donated to the appeal at Morrisons in Seaburn.

Toys donated to the appeal at Hays Travel.

Toys donated to the appeal at Hays Travel.

Brenda, from Arriva, with some of the toys and chocolates donated by staff.

Brenda, from Arriva, with some of the toys and chocolates donated by staff.