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A Winter Toy Story Trail celebrates the magic of childhood in Stokey

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

Traders in Stoke Newington are holding A Winter Toy Story Trail to coincide with 10 years of a local toy appeal.

Featuring wand-making workshops, carols, a Santa’s grotto, treats and special offers and a Christmas party at The Old Church, it’s hoped the event, which starts at 10am on Saturday December 9th, will celebrate the magic of childhood, while collecting new gifts for children in poverty.

“So much love is going into this event,” said Heidi Early, Chair of Stoke Newington Business Association. “The Winter Toy Appeal so perfectly captures the community spirit here in Stokey and, to mark its 10th anniversary, it feels entirely fitting as businesses to lay on a magical day for families.”

The trail starts at Stoke Newington’s Farmers Market, where there’ll be mulled pear juice, festive stalls, wand-making and carol singers and giant illuminated stars by Output Arts. It continues down the High St and Church St, with children encouraged to look out for stars in shop windows and collect stickers on their trail-maps from participating stores.

The Fire Station hope to have a fire engine out for the event and Output Arts are working with local schools to decorate Stokey’s big Christmas tree as well as local parklets.

There’ll be special activities along the way and Location Location estate agency are throwing their annual party for families at The Old Church with live music, wand-making, mulled wine for parents and more. There’ll be illuminated cubes in the grounds of The Old Church.

Heidi added: “We hope locals and visitors will make a whole day of it and enjoy special meals at our brilliant restaurants and pubs. It’s worth booking a table early to avoid disappointment.”

The Winter Toy Appeal was launched by husband-and-wife team Basil and Jenna Fansa of the Local Buyers Club after the birth of their first child. It’s run in partnership with Location Location and each year provides new toys for more than 5,000 children in extreme poverty in London. Toys are distributed by councils, refuges, children’s centres and schools to children who would otherwise be unlikely to receive a gift.

Jenna said: “Stoke Newington’s businesses have been such a huge part of the toy appeal from the beginning – helping spread the word, donating and collecting toys for us and sourcing brilliant toys for us to purchase. It’s wonderful of them to be marking the Appeal’s 10th anniversary with a Christmas event that thanks the community for their kindness, while offering really fun activities for families.”

To book a place for your children at the Christmas grotto, visit

For more details about the event, visit

To support the Winter Toy Appeal, visit


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