Henry Plaza at Victoria Place in Woking saw visitors stop in their tracks last week, as the atrium steps were filled with an incredible display of toys.
The display was possible due to the generosity of customers who have donated over 2,000 toys through the centre’s ‘The Forgotten Toys’ Christmas appeal. The toys will be donated to local charity Sebastian’s Action Trust this week, which will distribute them to new owners to give them the opportunity of a new home in time for Christmas.
The donations drive was set up this year in a bid to give something back to those who might otherwise go without this Christmas, and to support those feeling the pinch due to the cost-of-living crisis. The focus of the appeal has been donating pre-loved toys that are no longer used, so that they have the opportunity to be loved once again by a new owner. However, the centre has also seen a massive amount of additional kindness with people buying gifts on site to donate to the appeal – showing just how important ‘giving back’ is for people this year.
The appeal was set to finish at the end of last week, but due to popular interest, is being extended until the final day of the grotto on Christmas Eve.
John Paul Jackson, centre manager, said: “We’re hugely grateful for the generosity everyone is showing towards our ‘Forgotten Toys’ donation appeal. These donations will go to new homes in time for Christmas and into next year and are so vital at a time when the pressure of living costs is so real for so many. Plus, Santa’s Grotto is proving exceptionally popular this year. We’re so happy people are taking advantage of this experience, and we have made it free so that noone has to go without this traditional and magical activity this year.”