It’s a Winner Wonderland as presents are given to toy library

GIVING The lottery winners piled up with presents to hand out. Picture: Brighton Togs
GIVING The lottery winners piled up with presents to hand out. Picture: Brighton Togs
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YOUNGSTERS beamed with joy when a vintage Routemaster bus full of gifts arrived at a toy library.

Camelot – which runs the National Lottery – organised the event which saw former winners give out more than 100 presents to 43 children and local charity, the Connors Toy Library.

HAPPY SCENES Looking cheerful on the bus

HAPPY SCENES Looking cheerful on the bus

The lottery winners helped volunteers throughout the day at the Anchorage Park Community Centre in Portsmouth, where excited children had the chance to bake mince pies, sew Christmas stockings and sing a few Christmas songs.

Karen Drayton, the Connors Toy Library project leader, said: ‘The Winner Wonderland visit has been amazing for everyone involved in the project and we are incredibly grateful to all the winners who have been a great help.’

The toy library was set up 40 years ago to help the parents of children with Downs syndrome come together for support.

It has now grown to be a community-based scheme that anybody can join. It also employs two outreach workers who support vulnerable and hard-to-reach families.

The £291,782 National Lottery funding that it received in 2012 through the Big Lottery Fund has enabled it to continue its vital work in the community.

Dean Allen, who won £13.8m in 2000, said: ‘The kids absolutely love it, I can’t say it is was I was expecting, it’s rather like organised chaos.’

Another winner Andrea Holmes added: ‘It has been a great that Camelot have given us a chance to put something back into the local community.’

Simon Horne from Camelot said: ‘It is lovely to see the children so mesmerised and happy.

‘It is also nice that the Connor Toy Library benefits people from all across Portsmouth and we like to see projects where something is put back into the local community.’