The Leighton Buzzard charity helping disadvantaged children have a Christmas

Volunteers have been helping out at the Luton warehouse

By Lynn Hughes
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:58 pm

More than 71,000 toys have been winging their way to youngsters in refuges and safe houses across the country, thanks to work from a Leighton Buzzard-based charity.

KidsOut in Church Square, working with the Rotary Club, has been collecting new toys throughout the year to ensure disadvantaged youngsters have something under the Christmas tree this year.

And from its Luton-based warehouse, four articulated lorries have already been delivering parcels far and wide, after being packed and labelled by volunteers including from Accenture.

Volunteers have been working hard at the warehouse

KidsOut community engagement officer Declan Duggan said: "We are at present in the middle of a huge logistical challenge in delivering a massive amount of presents and toys to some really disadvantaged families throughout the UK with the main hub being in Luton.

"We have a small army of staff and volunteers to support this most wonderful of challenges."

Thousands of children who have fled domestic violence will spend Christmas in a refuge this year. The KidsOut appeal this year has provided 6,400 boxes for youngsters in refuges, which have been sent with eight gifts each inside, A further 20,000 gifts have been sent out to youngsters in safe locations.

KidsOut’s Giving Tree initiative invites firms and individuals to ‘Ditch Secret Santa’ and buy toys for children in local refuge homes instead. The recipients are children who have escaped domestic violence, being forced to flee their homes quickly and leave all possessions behind. Without Giving Tree, these children may not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas.

And the giving does not stop there. Direct Line Insurance has donated £64,000 which KidsOut will use to purchase 3,500 £20 food vouchers to give to families in refuges who have no access to foodbanks.

To find out more about KidsOut go to www.kidsout.org.uk