Response to toy appeal has restored my faith in people

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Well, what a December. Indeed, what a 2012. I have to say it’s been one of the best years of my life, the highlight being my marriage in July. Aah!

December has certainly been hectic. As a radio presenter I get involved in many events, from switching on Christmas lights to opening ice rinks and collecting toys for the station’s appeal.

At the beginning of the month we embarked on a series of outside broadcasts from Sainsbury stores all over the south. They were the main collection points for our listeners to donate Christmas presents for children who may otherwise have got nothing.

The response was overwhelming. Yes, us presenters, used to an air-conditioned box, froze our bits off through the month but it was so worth it.

What has been great has been meeting our listeners. Each day I speak into a black microphone in my little box, but this month I actually got to see the reactions to what I’m saying as people walk past. Scary.

Celebrities popped in for a chat and local school choirs sang the likes of Jingle Bells for the masses.

It’s also amazing how full of bravado some people are when they bound over to you and introduce themselves. Banter exchanged, many then go mute as a live microphone is placed under their nose.

But the real reward has been collecting the toys themselves. Thousands upon thousands, more than double last year’s total.

Then came the panic – sorting and distributing them. More panic too when we realised that after all the toys spoken for had gone, we still had many more left!

I felt like Santa Jackson just before Christmas, as I rushed down to the Isle of Wight ferry with a large van stuffed with toys.

I made a quick drop-off on the island, then headed back home. I felt so proud.

As the world becomes a smaller place and technology makes communication far easier, we tend to feel that community spirit and that sense of caring for others is slowly dying away.

But for me, the month of December restored my faith in not only people, but Christmas.

Thank you.