Heywood Christmas Toy Appeal cancelled

Date published: 20 October 2021

The annual Heywood Christmas Toy Appeal – which gives toys to thousands of local children – will not be continuing this year.

The appeal, run by Martyn Allen, owner of Shaw’s Opticians on Market Street, has run for six “very successful” years but will no longer carry on due to time constraints and lack of storage space.

The appeal collects pre-loved toys and games which are then given as Christmas presents to the less fortunate children in the town.

Martyn originally founded the appeal after a discussion about the way some local families in Heywood had struggled to afford to buy any Christmas presents for their children a few weeks earlier.

Upset at the thought of local children waking up to nothing on Christmas morning, Martyn decided to set up the toy appeal to make it easier for struggling Heywood families to give their children a much happier Christmas.

However, without large enough premises to contain all the donations, Martyn reached out to Kavanagh & Coates Funeral Services, who offered space above their office to store the presents each year.

In a post on Facebook, Martyn wrote: “Unfortunately, the toy appeal will not be continuing this year.

“After six very successful years, helping to give thousands of local children a happy Christmas morning, I am no longer able to continue.

“Various factors have led me to make this difficult decision, and I haven't taken it lightly.

“I would like to thank Susan and Frank Coates for their support throughout the years, and to everyone who volunteered their time or donations to help.

“Other local charity shops will accept toys if you are donating. Thank you.”

He added in a comment that reasons for his decision included lack of free time and storage.

Supporters thanked Martyn for his efforts in creating a special Christmas for many, adding that he is “a credit to the community.”

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