Toy collection for young asylum seekers

The collection has been organised by Dean McGeoghan.
The collection has been organised by Dean McGeoghan.

A toy collection is to be held in Derry and Inishowen on Wednesday and Thursday to aid the children who will be housed in the Direct Provision Centre in Moville.

The collection is being organised by Moville man Dean McGeoghan, who is hoping as many people as possible will donate a toy this Christmas, which will be gifted to the children when they arrive.

Dean told the Journal he has been overwhelmed by the support for his appeal so far and hopes to collect as many toys and items as possible for the children, who will be seeking international protection in Ireland.

Dean said he is undertaking the collection as he wants the children coming to Moville to feel very much welcomed.

He said he wanted to do something positive after some initial negativity from some quarters on the plan to turn Caiseal Mara Hotel into a Direct Provision Centre. He told how he had the idea to do a toy collection and has had strong support from across the community.

After Dean posted a status on facebook asking for donations of toys and board games, among others, he was inundated with people wanting to help.

Dean said: “I had around 100 messages, with everyone offering to help out and donate. Along with toys, we’ve also had donations of clothes and have had a large number of businesses helping out too. There’s great support for it, which is good to see.”

The collections take place at Evolve Martial Arts in Pennyburn on Wednesday, December 19 from 6-9pm and Thursday, December 20 from 7-9pm; Hannon and Greene in Buncrana on Wednesday and Thursday from 9am - 4.30pm; Scruffy Duffys in Carndonagh on Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm and McGettigans Bar, Moville from 4-10pm.

Dean would be grateful for any donations, adding how “everything will help and they will be gratefully received.” The only toys which cannot be accepted are war-themed items. If anyone wishes to donate but cannot make the collection points on the days and times shown, Dean asks them to message him on facebook.