Share a little Christmas cheer with your pre-loved toys and games

This story was published 1 December 2021

North Yorkshire and York residents are being encouraged to clear out the cupboards of unused toys and games in the run-up to Christmas.

Two staff at our household waste recycling centre accepting Christmas recycling.

Unwanted items in good condition can be donated at any of the 22 household waste recycling centres operated by Yorwaste on behalf of ourselves and City of York Council.

The organisations hope to collect 10 tonnes of items, which will be passed on to young people, aged up to 16, who are experiencing hardship this Christmas.  

County Councillor Derek Bastiman, Executive Member for Waste Management, said: “Christmas is a time of good will, so we’re asking families across North Yorkshire who can to add a little light to the festive season this year for many children who are less fortune. I encourage people to check their cupboards for any unwanted toys and games and to donate them in the confidence that their items will go to a good home.” 

The Reuse Santa Appeal is partnering with No Wrong Door, our service supporting young people within or on the edge of the care system. It replaces traditional council-run young people’s homes with hubs that combine residential care with fostering. There are hubs in Scarborough and Harrogate, serving the east and west of the county, respectively.

The appeal is also working with Barnardo’s, the British Heart Foundation, the Daisy Chain Project, Banana Box Toy Project, York Foodbank and the Recycling Project CIC, with the aim of ensuring no young person goes without a gift this Christmas. 

Last Christmas, the public donated more than 2,000 games, toys, puzzles and books, including air hockey tables, dolls’ houses, Nerf guns, bicycles and giant teddy bears, for families experiencing hardship.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change at City of York Council, commented: “We’re incredibly grateful for everyone’s generosity last year, which helped hundreds of families in York and North Yorkshire. It’s really important we maintain the momentum to ensure all young people know they’re supported and valued this Christmas, so if you can help this year, please do. With this in mind, it’s critical the donations are clean, well-cared for and in full working order. Thank you once again to everyone who supports this appeal.”

Donations will be checked to ensure they are in good, working condition before being delivered to the charities. The gifts will be given as part of a Christmas family bag, via children’s social care teams, to families in North Yorkshire and York. Surplus items will be distributed to other charity partners to be given to local children or sold for good causes. 

All household waste recycling centres in North Yorkshire and York are participating. Drop-off points are located by the container for household reusable items – look for the signs at the sites. The sites are also taking donations of new or part-used Christmas wrapping paper and tape as part of the appeal. Donations will be accepted until 15 December.