THE Toy Appeal is up and running for 2017, with the campaign aiming to provide Christmas presents more than 3,000 children.

Founded as the Lalley Toy Appeal in 2013 by Dee and Chris Drake, the project has brought joy to thousands of underprivileged children across Knutsford, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

With efforts doubled this year off the back of awards recognition in 2016, the appeal has teamed up with Egerton Youth Club, Egerton Primary School, Yorston Lodge School and Knutsford Academy.

Dee, who was last year nominated for Cheshire Woman of the Year and won the 2017 Inspiring Woman of the Year Community Award, sponsored by BBC Radio Manchester, said: “It’s incredible how it’s grown in five years.

“The fundraising, toy sorting and distribution are now massive operations.

“Egerton Youth Club have kindly made their facilities available again to help with logistics. It’s a lot of work but otherwise, these children would receive nothing at Christmas.

“We’ve committed to helping almost twice as many children this year, so we need twice as many toys.”

Children are referred to The Toy Appeal by schools, social workers and charities, with each case vetted.

Each child, from babies to 17-year-olds, will received a red sack with their name on it containing eight personalised gifts – including a ‘main present’ – based on their age and gender.

This means an anticipated 24,000 gifts to count, sort and pack into sacks.

The three ways to help out are to donate a main present, donate at, or donate your time by helping to sort.

All information is available at or by emailing – the deadline for donations is Saturday, December 9.