Norwood showers families with presents this Chanukah

5 December 2018

Norwood’s annual Toy Sweep event took place on Sunday 2 December, showering children and families supported by the charity with presents to wish them a Happy Chanukah.

Held at Smyths Toys Superstore in Staples Corner, the event saw volunteers racing round the giant toy store collecting toys which will be distributed to Norwood’s family centres and Buckets and Spades short-breaks service across London.

Now in its 19th year, the Toy Sweep was only made possible thanks to Norwood’s incredibly dedicated Toy Sweep Committee, who over the past year raised over £4,000 for the charitable event.

Claire Politzer, Home Manager – Buckets & Spades, said: “The Toy Sweep is always fun and enables us to stock up on the toys we keep in the service that the children play with throughout the year. This brings great excitement when they go to the cupboard to choose a toy.”

Norwood also invited children and their families supported by the charity to join the party, and they were given free reign of the giant toy store to choose their very own toy.

Annette Shimoni, Operational Manager – London, said: “The children we support don’t often get to go to a giant toy store like this – it’s too full and busy with people. However, the Toy Sweep gives them a chance to explore the toy shop safely, where they can practise decision-making when picking out a toy themselves.”

One of the families attending were Jonathan, his wife Sam and their one-year-old twins Reuben and Matilda. Sam attends Norwood’s Twins & More group, which offers support to mothers who have had twins or triplets.

Jonathan says: “My wife attends the group every week and the support they’ve given has been amazing. They give all the mums a safe space to share their experiences and issues, while the children are being looked after by staff and volunteers. All the parents give each other advice and support. The friendships Sam has made from the group have been great, and their WhatsApp group means that support is always on hand.

He added: “The Toy Sweep is an absolutely brilliant event. Free toys? We couldn’t believe it at first. We really enjoyed the day and the toys we’ve picked up will be really helpful for the twins’ development.”

Debra Kleinman, Norwood’s Toy Committee Chair, said: “My committee and I are absolutely thrilled that the Toy Sweep is in its 19th year. Every year, it’s amazing to see the enthusiasm of our supporters who help make the event such a success. It’s such a joy to spread the festivities throughout the Norwood family during Chanukah and we love seeing the children’s smiles on the day. We look forward to celebrating the event’s 20th anniversary next year!”


Notes for editors

Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:

By email:

By phone: 020 8420 6866 or 07736 458532

More images are available upon request

About Norwood’s Toy Sweep Committee

The Norwood Toy Sweep Committee is a small and dedicated group of volunteers who hold fundraising events all year round. All the money raised goes towards making life a little happier for the children Norwood supports, whether those are children with severe physical disabilities from Buckets and Spades, Norwood’s short-breaks service, or children that need a little extra help at school or at home provided at Norwood family centres.

About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.

Norwood supports over 4,000 people every year, giving them the tools they need to live the most fulfilling lives they can.

Norwood works with 56 local authorities, delivering wide-ranging services in a variety of residential accommodation and supported living services, short-break facilities and family centres across London and the South East.

Through a workforce of over 2,500 – made up of 1,250 staff and 1,500 volunteers – we provide the highest-quality care to transform the lives of children and their families, and vulnerable adults.

It costs £34m a year to deliver Norwood’s services, £12m of which must be raised from voluntary donations.