Board members out and about with the Toy Lorry

Board members out and about with the Toy Lorry
Board members out and about with the Toy Lorry

 Blog written by Elaine Dean, President.

Central Co-op Society has held a toy collection for the last few years but this year we had no less than 9 stops for the lorry and a collection point in every store.

Commencing at Northfield store, Birmingham the lorry, expertly driven and manoeuvred by Lol, arrived in Ibstock, Leicestershire where colleagues had dressed up as fairies, elves, dragons and even a tiger. Here the Line of Duty actor Stephen Graham handed over a substantial donation of quality toys which will bring delight to some youngsters this Christmas.

Lichfield was the next stop followed by Oakham, Dodworth, Ripley, Eccleshall, Orton in Peterborough and finally at Reepham in Norfolk.

At Dodworth it stood rocking in the car park while Storm Debi raged around it blowing about toys and mince pies alike – however this didn't stop the locals from being incredibly generous with toy donations. All toys are required to be brand new, unwrapped and must not be items relating to war.

This year was slightly different because at every stop there was at least one director on board taking charge of the proceedings and one or more Member and Community Council members and some funeral colleagues. President, Elaine Dean and Vice President Richard Bickle took their turns to collect the wonderful toys donated. Chief Commercial Officer Andy Peake drew the short straw at Dodworth in the storm, but Society Secretary Andy Seddon was present at Eccleshall and we had various visits from executives and operations managers at most stops and assistance from store colleagues.

Many thousands of toys have been donated – it was quite humbling as Lol was crating them up as fast as people were handing them in. The lorry, which has a kitchenette on board, can only visit stores with a large car park because of its size but our colleagues at the distribution centre will be sorting out the toys and dividing them among various charities across our trading area for children who might otherwise have little or nothing on Christmas Day.

 Thank you to everyone who made these events successful.