OUR Toys For Joy appeal is gaining momentum after only a week with a host of calls and e-mails from people wanting to donate to ill children this Christmas.
As we ask our readers to donate new and nearly new toys, one person who knows how much the appeal cheers children up is nurse Vicky Hill, who has worked on the children's ward at Croydon University Hospital for 17 years.
The 64-year-old said: "The response to last year's appeal was amazing. I couldn't get over how generous people were.
"I really hope this year we get a similar response. Christmas really cheers the children up.
"I love my job, it's a lot of fun. You really bond with the kids and the families, especially the ones who are quite ill and here for a while.
"One girl last year was very poorly but when Father Christmas came and everyone was opening the gifts she perked up."
The Toys for Joy appeal encourages Croydon residents to donate toys to the children's ward at Croydon University Hospital, where they will then be delivered in the run-up to the big day.
Last year there was a mound of presents waiting to be opened, but this year the hospital hopes there will be even more.
Vicky said: "We try and get as many children home for Christmas as possible but there are still nine or ten here on the day.
"Christmas is a fantastic medicine for the children.
"As soon as we put up the Christmas tree the whole atmosphere in the ward changes and you can't overestimate how the toy appeal can really make a child happy.
"A lot of parents or people remember when their child or even they were in hospital, and I think that's why people donate, to give something back.
At Christmas we try and make the ward a home from home and I think we just about manage it.
"I hope we get as good a response this year as we did last."Donate your new and nearly new toys to the appeal to brighten up the festive season for children who will be in hospital over the holiday period. Toys can be for babies, toddlers or older children up to 17 years old, but if you are wrapping your gifts please make sure you label who they are for, an approximate age and whether it is a boy or a girl. Bring the presents to 12-18 Lennard Road, Croydon. The main reception will take the presents and store them safely until Santa delivers them to the hospital at Christmas. Just think of the joy you will be bringing to the children.