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Dozens respond to cafe’s toy plea

Emily Cookson, owner of the Meldon Park Kitchen Garden Cafe, and Angela Robinson from Barnardo's North East with some of the donated items.

Emily Cookson, owner of the Meldon Park Kitchen Garden Cafe, and Angela Robinson from Barnardo's North East with some of the donated items.

VISITORS to a Northumberland estate will be bringing Christmas cheer to dozens of needy children, thanks to their toy donations.

James and Emily Cookson, who own Meldon Park near Morpeth, organised the toy collection at their Kitchen Garden Cafe in aid of Barnardo’s North East.

Dozens of customers responded to the appeal, donating high quality new teddies, toys and games, and this week the gifts were handed over to the charity.

They will be distributed to some of the 18,000 children and young people it supports across the region.

Barnardo’s spokeswoman Angela Robinson said: “We are absolutely delighted at the amazing selection of beautiful toys donated by Meldon Park Kitchen Garden Cafe customers. We were thrilled at the sheer volume and high quality of the gifts and were very touched that so many people thought so much of Barnardo’s and the work we do.

“The toys will be distributed to children, particularly under fives, who otherwise may not receive many, or any, this Christmas.

“We are noticing a growth in the number of families living in real poverty this year, with many desperate parents genuinely wondering how to pay for Christmas toys. We also have many children living with disabilities, those who are young carers, children who have experienced sexual abuse and domestic violence, who will love and cherish these toys.”

Mrs Cookson said: “Every child deserves a lovely present at Christmas and we were thrilled at the generosity of our customers, who have really supported this campaign. Barnardo’s does some fantastic work in the North East and we are thrilled that so many children will have something to smile about at Christmas.”

 

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