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Pub regulars give tsunami regulars hope

PUBLISHED: 16:50 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 23 August 2010

A TOY collection by pub customers is bringing a smile to the faces of Asian children orphaned by the 2004 tsunami. Punters at the George, on Hevercourt Road, Singlewell, have been donating toys and games since Christmas to mark the fifth anniversary of

A TOY collection by pub customers is bringing a smile to the faces of Asian children orphaned by the 2004 tsunami.

Punters at the George, on Hevercourt Road, Singlewell, have been donating toys and games since Christmas to mark the fifth anniversary of the disaster.

Manager Yvonne Craig is delighted by the response from the regulars. She said: "It seemed right to remember the children affected by the tsunami disaster on its fifth anniversary.

"We've been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of our locals.

"There's been a great range of toys donated, from dolls and cars to train sets and arts and crafts sets.

"We're sure the toys will help make a difference to all the children who receive them."

Half of the toys were delivered to the Baan Tharn Namchai Orphanage, in Khao Lak, Thailand, in time for the Thai New Year - a three day festival which ends today. And Jo Furlong of the Thai Children's Trust, which runs the Baan Tharn Orphanage, was keen to express her gratitude to the George.

"Even a small gift makes a huge difference to the quality of life of the children who lost so much in the tsunami," she said.

"The support we're getting from the George is invaluable."

The orphanage is in the area worst affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

With so many children left without families by the disaster, the orphanage plays a vital role in a community which is still suffering the physical as well as psychological effects of the devastation.

The rest of the toys were donated to the KidsOut charity, which runs a Toy Box Scheme in the Gravesham area for children escaping domestic violence.

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