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Editor’s comment: Help support our toy appeal for First Step

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 November 2018

Past Christmas Charity Appeals by Access Self Storage have resulted in hundreds of gifts for local charities. Pictured below are Julian Hamilton and Deslynn Barter with some of the generous donations from 2016.  Photo: Self Access Storage

Past Christmas Charity Appeals by Access Self Storage have resulted in hundreds of gifts for local charities. Pictured below are Julian Hamilton and Deslynn Barter with some of the generous donations from 2016. Photo: Self Access Storage

Archant

In recent weeks we have brought you the stories of families who have found a lifeline in Hornchurch charity First Step.

The charity celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and, as long time supporters, the Recorder is asking readers to donate toys for Christmas.

First Step works with more than 100 pre-school children with special needs and disabilities - as well as their families - offering educational services, support, information and encouragement. Their aim is to help these young children maximise their individual potential.

So this year we teamed up with Access Self Storage Romford for First Step.

You can drop off new pre-school toys in the reception of Access Self Storage Romford, A127 Southend Arterial Road near Gallows Corner any time from now until December 14.

More than 20 gifts have already been donated, thanks to our coverage here in the paper and also due to Romford McDonald’s which is supporting the appeal by putting up posters in throughout the restaurant.

A second campaign we are running throughout November is our Shop Local feature.

We are urging readers to think about doing their Christmas shopping in our small, independent shops rather than going to Lakeside or Bluewater.

As Dennis Burke, who runs Fresh Farm Produce in Upminster, said in last week’s paper: “It’s simple really. When it comes to the high street, it’s use it or lose it.”

Residents are quick to moan about empty shops boarded up or taken over by charity shops. But the only way to save our shopping parades is to use them.

And Christmas is an ideal time to start – whether you are looking for gifts, decorations or the Christmas Day dinner.

Your local shops are not just convenient, they are often staffed by people who know much more about their products.

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