Henry Plaza in the town centre’s Victoria Place saw visitors stop in their tracks last week, as the atrium steps were filled with an incredible display of toys.

The display was possible due to the immense generosity of customers who have donated more than 2,000 toys through the centre’s “The Forgotten Toys” Christmas appeal.

The warm-hearted community response means the appeal has achieved more than double its original target.

The toys will be donated this week to charity Sebastian’s Action Trust, who will distribute them to new owners to give them the opportunity of a loving new home in time for Christmas and beyond.

“The donations drive was set up this year in a bid to give something back to those who might otherwise go without this Christmas, and to support 
those feeling the pinch due to the cost of living crisis,” said a Victoria Place spokesman.

“The focus of the appeal was donating pre-loved toys that are no longer used, so that they have the opportunity to be loved once again by a new owner.

“However, the centre has also seen a massive amount of additional kindness with people buying gifts on site to donate to the appeal – showing just how important ‘giving back’ is for people this year.”

Donated toys filled the atrium steps in Henry Plaza at Woking. (Tindle)

Photographer Anthony Gurr, who set up the toy donation photo, said people kept bringing more toys as he was building the scene.

The appeal was set to finish at the end of last week, but due to popular interest, is being extended until the final day of Santa’s Grotto, which is open until 5pm on Saturday 24 December.

Other festive activities in the town include the annual panto, which this year is Cinderella, showing at the New Victoria Theatre until 31 December, and the ice rink in Victoria Square, which is open until 8 January.

“We’re hugely grateful for the generosity everyone is showing towards our 
Forgotten Toys donation appeal,” said centre manager John Paul Jackson. “These donations will go to new homes in time for Christmas and into next year, and are so vital at a time when the pressure of living costs is so real for so many.

“Plus, Santa’s Grotto is proving exceptionally popular this year. We’re so happy people are taking advantage of this experience, and we have made it free so that no one has to go without this traditional and magical activity this year.

“It’s so important to give back and Santa and his elves are excited to meet all the visitors passing through the enchanted grotto doors,” he said.

“Seeing the smiles that these two activities are bringing to people’s faces is priceless. We wish all our customers a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.”

* FOR more pictures of the scale of the donations, see the 22 December edition of the News & Mail, in shops now.