Gifts of kindness

KIND-hearted kids from an Alnwick childrens’ group are helping disadvantaged youngsters all over the North East by donating their unwanted Christmas presents.

Instead of shoving unwanted gifts into the back of a cupboard or under the bed now the festive season is over, youngsters who attend Tumble Tots throughout the area will be putting them in special collection boxes as part of a toy amnesty.

The toys will then be distributed throughout the region by Barnardo’s, the children’s charity which helps vulnerable children and young carers and campaigns to end child poverty, child abuse and sexual exploitation of children.

The Northumberland and Newcastle branches of Tumble Tots are owned by husband and wife team Karen and Jonathan Land, and some 270 children attend their classes in Alnwick, Morpeth, Cramlington, Monkseaton, Ponteland, Gosforth and Washington.

Jonathan, a father of three, said: “We thought it was a great idea for the children who attend Tumble Tots to do something to help less fortunate youngsters.

“Many children are very lucky at Christmas and often get duplicate presents or gifts they don’t play with. If they haven’t been used and are still in immaculate condition, they can be passed on to help bring some festive cheer to disadvantaged children. We thought this was also a lovely way of making children realise how lucky they are and raising awareness for Barnardo’s.”

Karen, who has worked with children for 20 years as a nursery nurse and as a nanny, added: “We will have a collection box at all of our classes straight after Christmas and we hope parents and children will bring along toys and books that they would like to give a good home to.

“We have three children ourselves and we know how many presents they receive from family and friends and any duplicate gifts or toys that aren’t going to be played with can be passed on to less fortunate children.”