A big thank you everyone who donated to #Toys4Birmingham and contributed to the 15,000 plus gifts to keep Christmas special for over 12,500 children in and around Birmingham this year.

Thrive Together Birmingham joined forces with the Edgbaston Foundation, Edgbaston Stadium, the Birmingham Mail and Birmingham PlayCare Network to collect and distribute the donations and make sure some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Birmingham received Christmas gifts.

During December 2021 Edgbaston Stadium became the donation centre for over 15,000 gifts brought by Birmingham residents and businesses to support families struggling to buy gifts for their children at Christmas.

Fred Rattley, CEO of Thrive Birmingham, said: “We were overwhelmed by the huge level of support we received from individuals, schools, organisations and businesses from across Birmingham for our #toys4birmingham appeal. As cars, school buses, vans and even lorries began delivering hundreds of donations we couldn't believe what we were seeing.

“For some 2021 has been even tougher than 2020 due to the pandemic and the prospect of Christmas filled them with further dread as they simply couldn't afford to buy presents for their children. Many continue to struggle to afford the essentials for their families and a gift to bring a child joy was simply not possible.

"We would like to thank Birmingham Mail for championing the campaign and with their backing we have been able to help so many more families in and around the city. My thanks to everyone who go involved."

Emma Payne from Birmingham PlayCare Network said: “Our connections with grass roots organisations who support the most vulnerable families meant that the gifts donated were received by children who really need them and are often missed out by other appeals. Play should be an essential part of every child’s Christmas and this appeal went a long way towards achieving that.”

Edgbaston Stadium once again generously donated their venue as a central collection point and distribution centre, and the Edgbaston foundation volunteers turned out in force to help sort and collect, sort, and deliver the gifts to where they were most needed.

Ravi Masih, Head of Community Engagement at Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Lead of the Edgbaston Foundation said: “We were delighted to partner with Thrive Together Birmingham once again, after our successful collaboration on the #FeedBirmingham initiative. We would like to thank everybody who got behind #Toy4Birmingham and donated a toy or book at the stadium during the December.”

“Responding quickly to emerging needs in the community is vital in the current climate. #Toys4Birmingham is an example of this, as we quickly mobilised once again when we heard about the need to support children. There were many families for whom Christmas was an unexpectedly a difficult one, and we were keen to play our part in trying to ease the pressures faced to give children a happy Christmas."

Over 50 groups helped to distribute toys. These included:

  • Fitcap
  • North Birmingham Children’s Centres
  • Yardley Early Help
  • Oasis in Blakenhall
  • Norton Hall
  • Go Women Alliance
  • Manna House Pantry
  • Resources for Autism West Midlands
  • Bearwood Action for refugees
  • Roshni Bham