In 2020, the UK spent £3.3bn on around 330 million toys for our children. It’s a booming industry that has a profound impact on the social skills and development of all of us. So understandably, when we learnt of the one in five children that go without Christmas presents every year, and the huge numbers of parents that struggle for basic necessities we wanted to see if we could help.
Keighley Laboratories have been a fantastic client of ours since we started out. The team there are open to pretty much anything, so when we suggested crushing toys to get the message across they didn’t doubt the vision. Well…maybe they did for a second. We created the campaign: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Donate. to raise awareness, around a key time of the year, what parents (like ourselves) should look to do as we make space for additional toys around Christmas time.
In our MD, Sam Raife’s household, he recounts his own Christmas experience.
“Our son is four-year-old this year at Christmas time, the excitement around December is reaching an unbelievable crescendo. Coupled with the guilt of grandparents not being able to attend last year, due to covid, we already have a mountain of overcompensated presents ready for Christmas day. Judging by the figures from the campaign this seems pretty normal. We know that as a family, we’ve always been the benefit of privilege, and very fortunate to be in this position, so this year, we wanted to do something different. It didn’t feel right simply recycling or selling on old toys, so we decided to look into our options.”
The research from the campaign showed the team at Brand Ambition an estimated 8.5 million brand new and 13 million perfectly good, preloved toys are sent to landfills every year and so the solution appears pretty simple. If those toys were donated to local charities that needed them, then no children would go without this year. Reaching out to their client Keighley Laboratories, a metallurgy testing and heat treatment facility in the town of Keighley probably wasn’t the obvious choice.
Sam Raife, went on to say;
“We have a fantastic working relationship with Debbie and the team at Keighley Laboratories. We also know that, like us, they are a family business at heart. So when we proposed the idea of utilising their machinery to overemphasise the statistics around waste, by crushing perfectly good pre-loved and new toys, they were happy to oblige. When Debbie and I started looking for a local charity to work with, we were overjoyed that the local baby bank in Keighley was open to donations and that it looked like our donations would actually have a fantastic impact on a number of local families.”
Local Keighley baby bank and registered charity Popi.org.uk has been running for over four years providing much-needed items for babies and children up to 5. Referrals to their service come from social workers, health visitors or family key workers supporting and working with families to understand closely what they need. Their work and the generosity of supporters means they’ve so far been able to keep up with demand, but this is growing as the charity becomes bigger.
‘We are extremely grateful to Brand Ambition and Keighley Laboratories for their generous donations and the opportunity to put POPI at the forefront of their campaign. As a baby bank it’s essential we provide items such as brand new mattresses with each cot we give to families. New toys will also mean local children have a wonderful Christmas who otherwise would have gone without. Supporting a local charity means so much to us, as we see, every day, the difference even small donations can have on the development and growth of the 1,573 families we’ve supported in the last four years.This money will enable us to buy approximately 10 new mattresses keeping many more babies and young children safe. Having the support of these two businesses means the world to us.’”
“If this joint campaign encourages just one person to donate to their local baby bank instead of throwing the toys away then it was worth it. We know how important our local community of Keighley is to us as a family, but also for the business that has been established for over 100 years. We hope to work closer with our local charities and we’re proud to donate too the team at Popi who have been doing such a great job in the Keighley and Bradford area to support families that need it.”