Belfast City Council Appeal For Pre-Loved Toy Donations

Belfast City Council has issued an appeal for donations of pre-loved toys to support local families in need and reduce the amount of quality toys sent to landfill.

Any toys that are no longer wanted, but still in good condition, can be dropped off at any of the city's four recycling centres – Alexandra Park Avenue, Blackstaff Way, Ormeau or Palmerston Road – until Monday 11 December.

The council has again partnered with East Belfast Mission to deliver the project which last year saw approximately 2,500 bags of toys delivered to 700 families across the city – one bag for each child.

Once again, the pre-loved toys collected will either be sold at an affordable price by charity partners or gifted to those most in need in the community. Charity partners this year include Save the Children, Barnardo's and St. Vincent de Paul.

Councillor Micky Murray, Chair of the People and Communities Committee, said: "Christmas can be a challenging time for families, particularly as prices continue to rise, so I'm delighted we are able to run this scheme again this year.

"Last year, the community really pulled together to support each other and make best use of items which still have a lot of life left in them. I am confident they will do the same again this year.

"As well as helping others, your donations are also reducing the amount of quality toys sent to landfill and, importantly, encouraging all of us to think again about how items can be re-used by others - which is key to developing a circular economy."

Michael Sloan, Area Retail Manager of East Belfast Mission, said: "The pre-loved toy appeal proved a roaring success last year and we are pleased to partner with Belfast City Council to deliver the scheme again.

"Many toys have a lot of life left but are being sent to landfill to make space or because children have outgrown them. I would encourage residents to instead choose to donate through the pre-loved toy appeal. The items will be distributed to families and children who could make use of quality used toys, and who may otherwise go without this Christmas.

"I also would like to extend my thanks to McConnell Property Management who are allowing us the use of a unit in Connswater Retail Park as a sorting facility."

The pre-loved toy appeal was first piloted in 2022 and helped divert approximately 7.5 tonnes of items from landfill.

A wide range of items can be donated to the scheme in the containers provided at recycling centres, including bikes, scooters, dolls, prams, jigsaws, board games, books and DVDs.

Donated toys and items, suitable for children of all ages, must be clean, complete, working and in good condition.

Toys should be donated by 11 December 2023 to ensure delivery for Christmas.

East Belfast Mission is also looking for volunteers to help sort the toys. Volunteers should visit the East Belfast Mission website at www.ebm.org.uk/contact-us/ to sign up.

For more information on the scheme visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/toyappeal

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