TV presenter Louise Redknapp has partnered with Argos to help launch the fourth retail giant’s annual Toy Exchange.
The 2015 campaign will aim to raise money to help some of the UK’s most disadvantaged children through the national Barnardo’s charity.
The fourth year of the Argos Toy Exchange runs until Friday, November 20th.
As part of the drive, Argos and Barnardo’s customers are encouraged to donate preloved toys to their local Argos or Barnardo’s store in exchange for a £5 toy voucher. The toys can then be sold in Barnardo’s network of shops, raising vital funds for the charity.
Research by Argos revealed around 3.8 million adults still snuggle with a childhood toy to help them get to sleep or relax after a stressful day. Meanwhile, 25 per cent of aduts questioned still own at least one of their childhood toys.
One in five (20 per cent) admit they intend to pass these onto their loved ones. A further one in five (21 per cent) women proudly admit to having their toys on display in the home.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to keep their childhood toys a secret, with one in eight (12 per cent) keeping theirs hidden away.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the fourth Argos Toy Exchange, it’s an incredibly worthwhile cause and one which can help make Christmas that little bit more special for disadvantaged families across the UK," said Redknapp.
"With one in 20 people saying they would happily donate all of their toys that are no longer played with to charity, I’m thrilled to be part of an initiative which allows other children to experience the same joy that toy once gave them.
"With more than 800 Argos stores and 640 Barnardo’s stores nationwide it makes it easy to visit a local branch so you can get donating.
“My favourite toy was a pink knitted doll called Jemima, she brings back so many wonderful memories of growing up, my mum still has her for safe keeping as I can’t pass her onto my two boys.”
Amy Whidburn, head of corporate responsibility for Argos, added: “As the UK’s number one toy retailer, we know how important toys can be to a child’s development and memories. It’s easy to remember the name of our favourite toy growing up, but who would have thought so many of us still owned them. “We wouldn’t expect people to part with their favourite toy from childhood, but we would ask that perhaps we look at the toys no longer played with at home that could be donated.
"The Toy Exchange is a great way for all children to get the chance to be united with that special someone (or something) which could well become a friend for life. Each year Argos’ Toy Exchange raises hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of toy donations and in the last three festive seasons we generated in excess of £1.9 million to help Barnardo’s.”
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s CEO, concluded: “We support some of the most vulnerable young people in the UK – such as those growing up in poverty, and those living in care. "Over the last three years we have had the generous support of Argos’ customers and hopefully this year we will be able to help even more.”