Toy industry stalwart, Andrew Laughton, marked the end of his tenure as BTHA Chairman and with MGA by completing a 110km walk from the MGA offices in Milton Keynes to the BTHA HQ in Central London, and raising almost £10,000 for the Toy Trust charity in the process.
Laughton followed the path of the Grand Union Canal for his walking feat, along which he was joined at varying points in the journey by a collection of toy industry personalities, including The Entertainer’s Gary Grant, as he undertook the task of completing the walk in four days.
His fundraising effort is now set to top £10,000 thanks to the generosity of colleagues, friends, and the wider industry.
The endeavour is raising money for both the Toy Trust and Fence Club equally, both of which are charities close to Andrew’s heart and both who provide support to many small children’s charities across the UK.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a massive drop in fundraising opportunities for many charities that don’t receive government funding and The Toy Trust, and the Fence Club are important to many of these smaller charities. As an industry it is critical that support is given wherever possible.
Graham Canning, Toy Trust Committee Chairman, said: “Andrew’s personal commitment is a real inspiration. To walk 110km in four days is a fantastic achievement and we are so grateful as a Toy Trust Committee for his incredible fundraising which will provide much needed support to the UK based children’s charities, we are helping this year.
“He has approached this challenge with passion and enthusiasm, and this to me is the real spirit of our industry. My thanks once again to Andrew for all he has done on behalf of the Toy Trust.”
Laughton added: “This challenge has, for me, always been ‘all about the kids’ and raising as much money as possible for the inspiring children’s charities the Toy Trust and Fence Club support. My heartfelt thanks go to all those that have joined me at certain points during the walk which has provided me with great company, encouragement and plenty of laughs. I am not so thankful for the blisters!
“To be able to give something back to the industry that has given so much to me is amazing and to have smashed the £10,000 fundraising target is unbelievable. Thanks to all for their support once again!”
There is still time to add your support and make a donation via Andrew’s fundraising campaign page, with all funds raised going on to support disadvantaged children around the country.
Meanwhile, the UK toy maker, Golden Bear is championing its own team of intrepid adventurers for taking part in this year’s Toy Trust Around the World in 80 Hours challenge for completing an impressive 926.5 km between them.
The team, comprising Andrew, Becs M, Charlotte, Emma, Emily S, Gareth, Gillian, John Harper, Joy, Rachel L, Sarah, Saskia, Shannon, Sioned, Suzanne, and Tom have so fair raised more than £1,350 for the industry charity, with money to be donated to myAFK and Handicapped Children’s Action Group.
All funds raised through the event will go on to purchase bespoke mobility equipment for children and young people who need it most and will include trikes, bikes, wheelchairs and walking aids, as well as other important mobility apparatus.
If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to add to the tally to recognise their combined effort here.