Toys on the Table

For the last two years, Richard Gamble from Estates and Campus Services has been encouraging students and staff to donate new toys and games for Toys on the Table, a local charity which gives presents to local children who would otherwise have little or nothing at Christmas.

Because of Covid, this year Richard invited people to donate to a JustGiving page rather than providing toys. Students, staff and their families came through magnificently, donating £2,650. The University pitched in an additional £2,000 which had been earmarked in the budget for on-campus Christmas celebrations. Overall, more than four and a half thousand pounds was raised – that’s a lot of toys.

Richard, assisted by Tara Tate and Lisa Booker, used this money to buy toys which were donated directly to Toys on the Table for distribution to local children in need. The charity helps about 3,700 local children and tries to ensure each child gets three or four presents, so the money raised through Richard’s JustGiving page made a huge difference.

“I visited the charity at their HQ in town and was humbled by the scale of the task they have,” said Richard. “It made me realise that our contribution is a mere drop in the ocean and it takes hundreds of drops in the ocean to make it work.”

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nishan Canagarajah said: “In these challenging times, it is heartening to learn of the success of Toys on the Table appeal, thanks to Richard’s passion and commitment and the generosity of the University of Leicester community. As a University we are proud of our long history of support for the local community, which is why the institution is donating an additional £2,000 to the appeal. As we move into our Centenary year, this principle of giving back and building a legacy for the future is more important than ever.”