At the launch of the toy appeal are, back from left, Tony Wake, Simon Blackmore, Emily Wells, Claire Willis, Ziggy Gilsenan, Josie da Bank, Paul Topping, Gaynor Wake and Alan Marriott. Front, Deborah Rooke and Daniel Rooke.
THE chance to give deserving children a Christmas to remember is back with the Isle of Wight Christmas Toy Appeal.
The Island's only official appeal — started last year by Daniel and Deborah Rooke — kicks off from November 15 until December 13 and runs exclusively to help Island youngsters for whom Christmas might not be so special due to crisis, poverty, sickness or bereavement.
Powered by Bestival and supported by the County Press and IW Radio, Daniel and Deborah hope this year's target of 2,500 toys will build on last year's achievements when 2,233 gifts were given out via Island charities to children from babies to 16 years old.
To donate, purchase a new toy, plus any batteries, and deliver it to one of the 13 official drop-off points, including the County Press offices, Tesco, Argos and Mothercare.
Daniel and Deborah know everyone's budgets are tight but as for some children the donated present will be the only one they receive, they ask that donations have a value of £10 or more.
Daniel Rooke said: "Though we may not always be able to mend the problems in these children's lives, we can show them love and kindness through the simple act of giving. The appeal gives us all the opportunity to demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas."
Bestival curator Rob da Bank said: "You lovely bunch helped put smiles on the faces of 2,233 kids in December 2012 and I feel pretty confident that, even though times are tough for everybody at the moment, we can really smash that total this year. Bring on the rolls of wrapping paper and Sellotape!"
The drop-off points:
Isle of Wight County Press, Pyle Street, Newport
Isle of Wight Radio, Dodnor Lane, Newport
The Entertainer, Newport
Tesco Extra, Ryde
Royal Hotel, Ventnor
West Wight Sports Centre, Freshwater
Charlotte's Academy, Cowes
Red Jet Terminal, Cowes