FIVE thousand underprivileged children in the north west will wake up on Christmas Day to a sack full of toys arranged by a Knutsford-based charity.

The Toy Appeal is aiming to increase the number of children it supports by more than a third this year – up from 3,800 in 2018.

Anyone can donate new, unwrapped toys and are invited to drop them off at one of the collection points in Knutsford, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Holmes Chapel and Goostrey by Saturday, December 9.

Chris and Dee Drake from Twemlow Green, who started the Toy Appeal in 2013, are delighted by the generous support being offered to this year’s appeal.

Dee said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity shown by our supporters, and am confident that, with everyone’s continuing help, we will meet this year’s goal of making Christmas Day special for 5,000 children in our region.

“When we started the appeal seven years ago, we helped 500 children, and by Christmas 2019 we will have provided 16,000 sacks of toys to children who would not otherwise have had presents to open on Christmas morning.”

Each sack will contain eight gifts, which have been donated to the charity or been bought with money which has been raised throughout the year – a total of 40,000 gifts.

Each toy sack is made specifically for each child, based on their age and any special needs they may have.

Toys can be dropped off in Knutsford at Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shop, Toni & Guy, Diamond Nails, Barnshaw Smithy Café, Cottons Gym, Hal Whittaker, The Lambing Shed, The Market Café and KDR Recruitment.

In Holmes Chapel please leave gifts at Gascoigne Halman, Jonathan Myles Hairdressers, Costa Coffee, Dane Sound Radio, The Print Room and The Crown Inn in Goostrey.

There are also drop-off points in Alderley Edge at Costa Coffee and The Mobile Agents, and in Wilmslow at Costa Coffee, Harper & Quinn Hairdressing, Milkshake Boutique, and Toni and Guy.

About a third of the toys are donated, the remainder being bought with money raised from fundraising events throughout the year, including a joint ball with Egerton FC at the Mere in March and a ball at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester in November.

To make a financial donation, please see

The sacks are filled with toys at Egerton Football Club in mid-December by a large team of willing volunteers, ready to be despatched to arrive with each family by Christmas Day.

Dee added: “The Toy Appeal is very grateful to the many social workers, schools, women’s refuges and drop-in centres, who provide us with lists of families who need help to ensure their children receive presents at Christmas.”