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Weekly’s festive gesture for poverty-stricken children

A weekly newspaper has launched a campaign aimed at giving underprivileged children a better Christmas.

London title The Newham Recorder has joined forces with the Community Links Christmas Appeal to collect 15,000 toys for youngsters in the area who otherwise would not get a Christmas present.

The paper covers a patch in which half of the children live in poverty.

The campaign was launched last week with the help of EastEnders actor Ricky Grover, who plays Heather Trotter’s love interest in the BBC soap.

Newham Recorder editor Colin Grainger said: “The paper I have been associated with for over 39 years and our partners Community Links are combining again in a very special appeal to reach out to thousands of vulnerable children, families and adults.

Actor Ricky Grover supports the Newham Recorder's appeal

“In Newham, where half of our children still live in poverty, Christmas can be a time of stress and isolation. But Community Links looks to strengthen communities and raise aspirations at this time, making Christmas special and futures brighter.”

The paper has been involved with the appeal for more than three decades and asks readers to buy an extra present when doing their Christmas shopping and donate it to the cause.

In helping to promote the Recorder’s campaign, EastEnders star Ricky said: “It was really nice to meet the kids because I’m from this area and I suppose there’s a connection with them because of that.

“Christmas was always about giving and I think we should go back to that. I think the best people will ever feel is when they give something.”