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Totton councillor distributes mystery donor's vanload of new toys for sick children
BRAND new toys worth thousands of pounds will be presented to a children’s cancer unit – thanks to a mystery donor.
Totton councillor Neville Penman needed a van to collect more than 80 boxes from an unnamed Hampshire company that has been taken over and might be moving to another part of the country.
Staff knew Cllr Penman and asked him to find a home for toy trains and other items they would normally have handed over themselves.
Most will be delivered to the Piam Brown children’s cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital. The others will be presented to playgroups, schools and nurseries.
The boxes occupy an entire room of the building in which they are being stored.
Cllr Penman, a former chairman of Totton and Eling Town Council, said: “The company needed to dispose of toys it would otherwise have given to charities or handed out as prizes.
“Staff didn’t have time to do it themselves and gave them to me because they knew I’d make sure they went to the right people.
“But I never thought in my wildest dreams that they’d hand over as many as they did. My reaction was one of utter amazement.
“The company’s generosity knows no bounds.
“The children at the hospital will be very happy. Some of them can’t get out of bed and love to hold a little toy. Fortunately I’ve got hundreds of model cars, buses and lorries.”
The company wants to remain anonymous for fear of being swamped with begging letters from charities and organisations desperate for free toys.
Mr Penman collected the boxes in a van supplied free of charge by Breeze Vans in Salisbury Road, Totton.
He also praised Calmore Community Centre for raising £4,000 for the Piam Brown Unit. The chairman Des Rebbeck and his wife Gill presented the cheque to the ward’s charity co-ordinator, Rachel Funnell.
“It just shows what great community spirit exists in Calmore,” he said.
Anyone wishing to apply for some of the toys given to Mr Penman should write to Totton and Eling Town Council.