Hundreds back our annual festive appeal - but we are urging you to dig deep

ByJane HaynesPolitics & People Editor Birmingham Mail

The first gifts have arrived for our annual #Brumwish appeal to ensure kids across the city have a special gift to open this festive season, sent from Birmingham with love. Hundreds of you have bought from our wishlist, donated cash or told us you are collecting toys for the appeal.

But we want to get to our target of 10,000 toys for city youngsters - and with your help we know we can do it. Every gift will go to a child living in difficult circumstances, including those who are homeless, in care, struggling with disabilities or illness, or part of a family struggling to make ends meet.

The store room at Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, where every gift has been delivered so far, is getting full, thanks to our generous readers. You can join in by simply clicking on our wishlist here. Already more than 250 of you have done so. Delivery giant Amazon, who host our Brumwish gift list, have also donated £10,000.

Jane Hayne
Birmingham Live's Jane Haynes starts to sort through the gifts arriving at Edgbaston Stadium for the Brumwish appeal

But if you're not a fan of online shopping and would prefer to drop off your gift in person, you can get along to one of our big collection days - the first one this Saturday, December 3.

The stadium, postcode B5 7QU, will be open from 10am to 2pm for you to call by and deliver gifts to our willing volunteers. Perhaps you and your work colleagues, sports club or street can join forces?

It's not just brand new toys we are after. In the spirit of recycling, you can also gift as-new children's books, lego, or toys your kids have outgrown - the only second hand items we can't take are electronic or battery powered.

Edgbaston Foundation – the cricket club’s charitable arm – is one of the appeal's partners, along with faith organisation Thrive Together Birmingham and Birmingham Playcare Network.

Fittingly, one of the first gifts received from a kind-hearted member of the public was a child’s cricket set. Last year an incredible 14,000 presents were donated to the appeal.

Fidelis Navas, Edgbaston Foundation Community Director, said: “There are more than 100,000 children in Birmingham living in poverty. BrumWish and all the partners are doing amazing things to spread some joy to youngsters in the city and we’re proud to play a part.

“We know times are tough for many people this year with the cost of living increasing. But if anyone can spare just a few pounds to buy a small toy or gift it would be hugely appreciated.”

Edgbaston Foundation, with support from the club, will also be contributing £1,500 to BrumWish which will be used to buy children’s trainers.

People can drop new gifts to Edgbaston Stadium at their convenience but we will also be hosting two dedicated collection days on Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 10, from 10am to 2pm.

Emma Payne, from Playcare Network, added: “We are going through a challenging time collectively, but there are families out there that are in real crisis.

“The Christmas many of us take for granted, many children may never experience. If you are having to constantly juggle paying for food and fuel, buying expensive new toys will be an impossible thing.

“We know parents will go without to provide for their kids; we hope again people are able to help ease their strain just a little.”

About the Brumwish wishlist/ Toys4Bham

You can get straight to our Amazon wishlist by clicking here. Just pick a gift, pay for it and make sure it's being delivered to Edgbaston Stadium B5 7QU

The list features books and toys starting from just £4. There is loads for under a tenner - from toddler books, play-doh, Lego and Uno, to a creative 'Wrecking Journal' for older kids, a calming colouring book, a mini farm, time teaching watch and an inspiring bracelet.

If you can afford a bit more, for under £20 there are sensory toys and fiddlers for kids with concentration issues, cuddly teddies, a pushalong dog, specialist toddler and baby toys, kinetic sand and walkie-talkies. We haven't forgotten teenagers - there's a World Cup football, sets of smellies, jewellery kits and art sets, a watch, a onesie and a rucksack for school or sport. We've also added some Amazon giftcards so older kids can log in and make their own choices.

We update the list regularly - and there's nothing stopping you sending a gift of your own choice too, as long as you post it to the right place..

Money can be donated through Thrive Birmingham - every penny will buy more toys. Thank you on behalf of the thousands of kids who will benefit!