By Philip Rylands-Richey
As a kid, Christmas was without a doubt my favourite time of the year. I remember gleefully sending the final draft of my painstakingly planned letter to Santa up the chimney and bursting into tears moments later, realising I’d forgotten to ask for that £250 Scalextric set. I remember filling my little body with turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and cranberry sauce, waking up half an hour later from an epic food coma and sashaying my way back to the dinner table for a freshly baked mince pie. I remember failing miserably to catch a wink of sleep on Christmas Eve and blasting out of bed as soon as the sunlight peered through my winter-blanched window. All these wonderful things aside, I’m not going to bother denying it; the best thing about Christmas as a child is the presents. Running downstairs and tearing the shiny wrapping paper off a stack of gifts is amazing. Even when you have to feign enthusiasm when you discover that Auntie Mildred’s bought you socks for the third year running, (still not over that) it’s a great time for everyone, right?
Wrong. In Brighton and Hove, more than 20% of children and young people will be going through Christmas in unspeakable poverty. With help from sponsors and founding partners Domestic and General, Mears Group, The British Engineerium and many others, Juice 107.2 will be trying their best to make Christmas a little better for these less fortunate people. And you can help.
They’ve launched something called the Juice 107.2 Toy Appeal, and it’s basically a way of getting presents to those who wouldn’t get them otherwise. So, when you’re out doing your Christmas shopping, why not buy something for someone who’ll really appreciate it? It doesn’t have to be anything gigantic or expensive; it just has to be something. A teddy bear, an action figure, heck, even a pair of socks will do. Just give your gift, new and unwrapped to any of the drop off points and Juice will do the rest.
I dropped in to 170 North Street this morning to find out more about the appeal, and the first thing I saw was a table piled high with stuffed toys, candy canes, toy cars and many other generous offers. I had a chat with Poppy Atkinson, the woman behind it all, and her enthusiasm for the project was heart-warming. She’s the Senior Account Manager of Juice 107.2, and the appeal was her idea. She explained that already people had shown a little interest in the project, and I had only to look at the overflowing table of presents to understand just how much modest she was being. It was launched three weeks ago, and the closing date’s December 20th, so there’s still plenty of time to make a contribution. I hope that I’ve managed to make you as excited about this lovely appeal as I am.