TODAY marks the launch of the 15th annual Dorset Echo Christmas Toy Appeal.

Almost £4,500 was raised last year, which meant hundreds of needy children across the county had a toy to open on Christmas morning.

This year we are hoping to raise even more to ensure we can give a present to every child who needs one.

All of the money raised is used to provide toys and gifts to needy youngsters at Christmas.

We are looking for 30 businesses to each donate £100, which will be used to buy gifts and vouchers.

Toys can be donated to appeal bins in shops and businesses across the area.

Portland Stone kick-started the fundraising early this year, donating five percent of all skip sales from its website between July 1 and November 28 to the appeal.

The company hopes to raise £1,000 for the cause this year.

Managing director Danny Nash said: “When we set up the website it took off really well and we wanted to donate some money to a charity. We had a few in mind, but the Toy Appeal ticked all the boxes.

“It’s a charity we have supported since day one and it’s nice to give something back to a local cause.”

The money raised by the website has already reached £395 and Danny is hoping that figure will have doubled by the end of November.

“We are hoping that we can raise £800 by the end of November and that can be added to the £100 we have donated from Portland Stone and the £100 from the Butch Nash Trust.

“I really hope this will encourage other local businesses to donate. The Toy Appeal is a really worthwhile cause and helps so many children and the less fortunate at Christmas.”

Echo promotions manager Debbie Hellaby said: “We are delighted to be running the Dorset Echo Toy Appeal again this year and are proud to be able to say that our readers and local businesses have now being supporting this campaign for the last 15 years.

“Without them the Toy Appeal would not exist and we are grateful to all those who donate time, money and presents to help spread a little joy to children in need of our support at Christmas.

“Shoppers can drop something in when they are out and about doing their Christmas shopping and businesses can get involved by donating £100 to the appeal.”


  • Asda, Weymouth.
  • Bridport and Lyme Regis News, Bridport.
  • The Co-op, Easton, Portland.
  • Debenhams, Weymouth.
  • Dorset Echo, Dorchester.
  • Dorset Echo, Granby Industrial Estate, Weymouth.
  • Goulds Garden Centre, Littlemoor.
  • Howleys Toymaster, Weymouth.
  • Howleys Toymaster Lego shop, Weymouth.
  • Howleys Toymaster pre-school shop, Weymouth.
  • Morrisons, Bridport.
  • Morrisons, Weymouth.
  • Tesco, Dorchester.
  • Tesco, Weymouth.
  • Toymaster, Bridport.
  • Toymaster, Dorchester.
  • Value House, Weymouth.
  • WH Smith, Dorchester.
  • WH Smith, Weymouth.
  • Wilkinsons, Weymouth.
  • Daniels Fish and Chips, Littlemoor.
  • Daniels Fish and Chips, Abbotsbury Road.
  • Daniels Fish and Chips, Wyke Regis.
  • Tesco, Portland.
  • Boots, Weymouth.
  • Boots, Dorchester.
  • Fish and Fritz, Weymouth.
  • Weymouth Sea Life

How businesses can help

We are looking for 30 businesses to donate £100 each for our appeal. This has been amazingly successful in previous years and has been the main way that the toy appeal has been able to provide so many toys and gifts to needy children.

Each donation is gratefully received and all those donating £100 will be featured in the Echo.

To donate £100 call Debbie Hellaby on 01305 830815 or email For more details on the Toy Appeal, visit