A Mistle-Token of Joy: Gift a Child a Toy this Christmas at Canary Wharf – 20.11.23

  • The ELBA Toy Appeal returns to Canary Wharf for its fourth year
  • Donate a present to a child in your local area this festive period

As we enter the festive period, Canary Wharf residents, visitors and workers are invited to spread some Christmas cheer to those who need it most by donating a gift to a local child through the annual ELBA Toy Appeal.

Launching today, Canary Wharf is hosting its fourth yearly Toy Appeal with over 25,000 toys donated in 2021 and 2022 by those who live, visit and work at the Wharf. The appeal is in collaboration with East London Business Alliance (ELBA) and BIG Alliance. Members of the public are invited to donate a newly bought gift, which will be wrapped and hand delivered to a local child who might have otherwise gone without a Christmas present.

The appeal will run until Friday 15 December, and the toy drop off point is at Level -1 Jubilee Place mall. Those who are unable to visit the Estate can donate online through the JustGiving page, and volunteers will buy a present on their behalf.

As families continue to feel the effect of the cost-of-living crisis, four in 10 people say they will spend less on gifts this year[1], with households cutting back their budgets to help focus on priorities such as utility bills and groceries. Thousands of children in East London alone are predicted to experience this Christmas living in poverty.

Following the 2022 Appeal, Julie Pell at Walthamstow Salvation Army said: “We have seen a 500% increase since Covid hit and the cost-of-living crisis means that referrals have stayed at the same level and continue to increase. We are in an area where, after housing costs are taking out of the family budget, 50% of children live in poverty which is catastrophic for the wellbeing and health of children. Gifts may not seem that important in the scheme of this situation, but actually they allow families an opportunity to enjoy a season that would otherwise be so very difficult.”

Smera Nadeem, Head of Programmes at Challenge:ELBA, says, “The Toy Appeal has been an annual festive event run by ELBA for as long as staff can remember. What started as a small under the desk collection, now holds a very prominent feature within CWG and their festive program. Since being hosted by CWG, the average number of toys donated has almost doubled from an average of 10,000 pre-pandemic to over 17,000 in the past 3 years (over 21,000 toys were donated in 2020). Having a public facing shop front, which provides more visibility, has not only helped increased exposure and increased the donated number of toys, it has also allowed more community organisations to access the appeal, helping them to provide toys for their service users, many of whom might have otherwise gone without a toy this year. In the current economic climate, the need is greater than ever before. We have seen a large increase in toys requested from community organisations across East London and hope to meet this need through the generosity of CWG, corporate businesses and employees- without you all, the festive season will see much less smiles on children’s faces. A massive thank you in advance for all the support!”

Jane Hollinshead, Chief People Officer at Canary Wharf Group, says, “We’re delighted to be supporting the ELBA Toy Appeal for a fourth year, a cause that does so much good for local families during this festive period, surprising children with some much-deserved joy.  Our community of workers, residents and visitors consistently support the Toy Appeal each year, so we’re looking forward to seeing faces old and new get involved by donating this winter.”

Toy appeal drop off point:

  • Level -1, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY

Opening Times:

  • Monday 20 November – Friday 15 December
  • Monday-Saturday: 10am-4pm; Sunday: closed

Toy Appeal asks for gift donations within the following guidelines:

  • New toys between the value of £10 and £15
  • Please ensure the presents are unwrapped. This is so community organisations can choose which children the gifts are most suited to
  • Toys should have the Lion Mark CE to show they are child friendly and safe for use.
  • No toys that require batteries. It’s ok if the toy comes with batteries included
  • No war toys or toys that portray fighting such as tanks, soldiers and guns. Some children may be asylum seekers fleeing war. Star Wars and superheroes are fine
  • No iTunes/Google Play vouchers. Most children that benefit from the Toy Appeal won’t have access to an account. Cinema vouchers are more appropriate
  • No second-hand donations. Many of our community partners cannot accept second-hand toys due to health and safety reasons. Also, the quality often varies greatly. For many children, this will be the only toy they receive so we would like it to be a new toy
  • Age range for toys – the toys will be donated to babies and children up to the age of 16

Click here for gifting inspiration

Click here for more information on the Toy Appeal

Click here to make a donation via JustGiving


For further information, please contact:

Press Office
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166
E: pressoffice@canarywharf.com

Notes to Editors

About Canary Wharf Group:

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is the developer of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe. CWG develops, manages and currently owns interests in approximately 9 million square feet of mixed-use space and over 1,100 Build to Rent apartments. 

CWG is committed to turning sustainability ambition into impactful action. Examples include purchasing 100% electricity from renewable sources since 2012, our partnership with the Eden Project creating a place for nature and people and working to deliver our Science-Based Target.

CWG has created a 24/7 city where people can live, work and thrive on the Canary Wharf estate and enjoy all the benefits: great transport links, access to 16.5 acres of green spaces and waterside living; and a wide range of amenities including an award-winning arts and events programme. Canary Wharf’s retail offering comprises over 70 bars, cafes and restaurants and over 300 shops, including 8 grocery stores, pharmacies and health clubs all within 15 minutes’ walk. 

LinkedIn: @CanaryWharfGroup
Instagram: @canarywharflondon
Twitter: @CanaryWharfGrp / @Level39CW

About ELBA

ELBA (East London Business Alliance) is a registered charity and for over 30 years we have been building the connection between businesses and local communities, bringing the time, skills and resources of the private sector to address social mobility, regeneration, poverty and inequality in east London and beyond.

Our mission is to create possibilities to bring about positive change in London by channelling the wide-reaching resources and influence of the private sector to address key areas of need. ELBA makes community investment by businesses easier, more effective and more rewarding.


[1] KPMG, October 2023