University of Leicester students hope to bring Christmas cheer to hundreds of local children

Posted by fi17 at Dec 05, 2011 10:48 AM |
Donation drive for gifts as part of the Toys on the Table campaign will culminate in a volunteer wrapping session on 13 December

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office, Monday 5 December 2011

Photo opportunity: Tuesday 13 December 2011, 11.30-14.30 in the Queens Hall, Percy Gee Building (University of Leicester Students' Union), University Road, Leicester.

University of Leicester student volunteers are collecting toys for disadvantaged children this Christmas as part of the Toys on the Table initiative. Student group Contact Volunteers is heading the campaign to encourage staff and students to donate gifts, ahead of a big wrapping event on Tuesday 13 December 2011.

University student volunteers have taken part in the Toys on the Table project for several years, collecting donated presents from University staff and students. Toys on the Table is a registered charity operating in Leicestershire, collecting gifts for children who would otherwise not receive any presents at Christmas.

The donation drive and wrapping session form part of the University's '12 Days of Christmas' volunteering event, organised by Gareth Hughes, the Volunteering Events Co-ordinator for the University of Leicester Careers Service.

Gareth said: "It's great that students are getting involved with the Toys on the Table project, it's a brilliant chance for them to get more involved in the local community and support a good cause."

Thom French, the Campaigns and Involvement Sabbatical Officer at the Students' Union, is throwing his weight behind the campaign and heavily promoting the scheme. Thom said: "I’m really proud of the way in which, at this time of year, us students can really make a difference for the lives of children. The student movement is a powerful motion and this is an example of how we can rally around a cause."

Toys on the Table was founded around thirty years ago, and in 2004 Terry and Margaret Watts from Countesthorpe took over as heads of the project. Last year they brought Christmas gifts to over 3,500 children, and this year they estimate they will wrap around 8,000 presents. They work closely with social services to find out where toys are needed, but the project relies on the co-operation of thousands of Leicester residents to gather the required number of gifts.


Local media are invited to attend the wrapping session on Tuesday 13 December between 11.30 and 14.30 at the University of Leicester Students' Union.


Notes for editors: For further details, please contact Gareth Hughes on: 0116 252 2317 or email:

Contact Thom French on: 0116 223 1125 or email:

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