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Royals help weekly meet Christmas campaign target

Presents donated by the Royal Family helped a weekly newspaper in London reach its target of collecting 15,000 toys for underprivileged children in time for Christmas.

The Newham Recorder, which covers a patch in which half of the children live in poverty, joined forces with the Community Links Christmas Appeal to collect the toys for youngsters in the area who otherwise would not get a Christmas present.

This week the newspaper collected presents from Buckingham Palace, although it has not revealed which members of the Royal Family donated the gifts.

As well as this a West Ham United fan flew over from the US to pay the £350 he had pledged in an online auction for a signed shirt from the 1980 Cup Final, donated by EastEnders actor Ricky Grover who launched the appeal.

Editor Colin Grainger said:  “This was the 34th year of the appeal, and the toughest yet, given the current financial climate.

“But there were some truly amazing efforts. The appeal collected an incredible 5,000 toys in its last seven days. The first of the toys were handed out at parties staged by Community Links at the weekend, with youngsters being entertained by a variety of volunteers.

The front page of the Recorder on Wednesday

“Now the rest are being delivered by our Santa squads, the teams of Links volunteers who will wrap the gifts and deliver them. The joy on the faces of the children was remarkable, and we had help from all quarters…including the Royal Family

“We paid a special visit to Buckingham Palace on Monday night to collect gifts donated by members of the Royal household.”

Colin added that donations of pocket money and pensions by supporters young and old really made a difference.

Businesses had donated £4,000 which helped with the costs of parties, pantomime trips, and presents.

Added Colin: “This is a truly remarkable achievement and proves an incredible community spirit exists in our borough.”