Cllr Anna Birley is Policy Lead for the Private Rented Sector and a councillor in Thurlow Park ward.
2020 has been an exhausting year, and we all seem to be embracing Christmas more than ever for the festive comfort that it brings. But for many families, Christmas is a time of financial strain, and many children won’t have a proper meal or any presents to open. Covid-19 has seen many households across Lambeth lose loved ones and livelihoods – so this festive season may prove especially hard.
Every child deserves joy, and after the year we’ve had, we think that a gift to unwrap on Christmas morning is even more important than ever. That’s why we, a group of councillors, Lambeth officers, social workers and library staff, and volunteers from across the borough, have started the Lambeth Christmas Present Project – collecting toys, books and gifts to wrap up and deliver to children across the borough who might otherwise go without.
And we need your help! Between now and 19th December, please bring any new or pre-loved toys, books, gifts and wrapping paper to your local library. Staff have set up donation boxes where you can leave your donations, ready for volunteers to clean, wrap and distribute them. If you’re bringing second hand toys, please make sure they’re good quality, not damaged and don’t have any parts missing. We’ve already been overwhelmed by your generosity – one resident has been in touch to offer some kids bikes, and the Ash-Shahada housing association in Brixton has offered up to 50 toys. If you want to contribute but you don’t have any toys at home, you can choose something from Wigwam, an independent toy shop in Lambeth, who will give you 10% off any donations you make and deliver the presents for you.
Cllr Anna Birley
How can I help?
There are loads of ways to get involved:
- Donating good quality second-hand toys, books, or gifts
- Buying a toy from local Lambeth toyshop Wigwam
- Volunteering your time to sort, clean and wrap up presents
- By referring a neighbour or friend in need so that we can make sure their family has
gifts under the tree this year
- By spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp
What can I donate?
We are accepting donations of good quality second-hand toys, gifts, and books. Please make sure that any donations are:
- Good quality, clean, not damaged and with no missing parts
- Suitable for ages 1-16 years old
- Safe – nothing dangerous or violent
If you don’t have toys at home, you can also donate in one of the following ways:
- Buy a toy from Wigwam, a local Lambeth toyshop who have offered 10% off any toys
donated. Choose gifts on wigwamfamily.co.uk or by calling 02086764815 – let them
know it is for the Lambeth Christmas Present Project and they will store the toy for
collection by our team
- Donate wrapping paper, gift tags or Sellotape
- Donate your time and help us to clean, sort and wrap the gifts
Bring gifts to any of Lambeth’s libraries. If you are bringing donations, please wear a face
covering and observe social distancing to keep yourself and our volunteers safe.
- Monday – Saturday 11-4pm
Brixton, Carnegie, Clapham, Durning, Minet, South Lambeth, Streatham and West
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 11-4pm
Upper Norwood library
- Monday – Friday 10.30-12.30 and 1-3pm