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North Kent guides bolster Toy Appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:44 16 December 2010 | UPDATED: 12:53 16 December 2010

Girls from 1st Swanscombe Brownies and Guides with toys donated to the Toy Appeal

Girls from 1st Swanscombe Brownies and Guides with toys donated to the Toy Appeal

Archant

YOUNGSTERS from the girl guiding movement, aged five through to 15, have combined to give your Reporter's Christmas Toy Appeal a huge boost.

1st Northfleet Rainbows used its nativity play to ask generous parents to dig deep and provide a clutch of presents, while 1st Swanscombe Brownies and Guides held a huge end of year event dedicated jointly to the campaign and Gravesend Rotary Club’s appeal for Shelter boxes.

Bad weather at the start of the month failed to dampen spirits as parents collected at St Botolph’s Church, Northfleet on December 5, raising funds through programme sales to buy toys.

Janet Forde, the troupe leader, said: “We sat the girls down a few weeks earlier and gave them a choice of a few charities supported.

“They liked the idea of giving toys to children at Christmas. As well as remembering the meaning of Christmas it is a time for children and this was an ideal way for us to do just that.”

The toys will be presented to children laid up in Darent Valley Hospital over the Christmas period, with panto stars from Gravesend and Dartford set to distribute them tomorrow.

The efforts of the Rainbows were matched by Swanscombe on Monday, who held a huge end-of-year pampered chef party for parents and special guests Dartford District Commissioner Lois Derham, and Gravesend Rotary Club president Simon Lancaster and member Derek Swift. Guides leader Madeleine Tagg said: “Girl guiding is all about helping people and this represented a perfect opportunity to do so. I am very proud of the girl’s efforts and very grateful to the parents.” Each Guide and Brownie donated a toy on entry to the party, where cakes and treats prepared by the guides and decorated by the brownies were on offer.

Parents paid donations on entry, which helped raise £500 for a shelter box for the rotary club. A shelter box contains vital provisions for 12 people in times of crisis including tents, food cooking equipment and water purifiers.

Mr Lancaster said: “This is a fantastic effort and this box will go out around the world to people who really need it.”

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