A DANCE School has teamed up with the children’s charity Sleigh2Give to provide children, who may otherwise go without, with toys for Christmas.

Children and parents at the recently opened Mini Professional Dance Academy in Kidlington are creating gift boxes, which they will deliver to the charity in time for Christmas.

Sleigh2Give is Christmas campaign by Didcot fundraising organisation Play2Give – which was launched in 2007 by Andrew Baker MBE. The initiative is calling for the public to donate toys to children who might otherwise go without presents this year.

The donations help support families in the neonatal care unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital by bringing them toys over the festive period.

Set up in September 2007 by Andrew Baker, the charity has so far raised and donated over £320,000 to various causes. 

The founder fought for his life in the Special Care Baby Unit at the John Radcliffe and again when he was 12 after brain surgery. 

The 33-year-old said it was ‘brilliant’ to see The Mini Professional Dance Academy help collect donations for the charity.

Mr Baker said: “It’s great that they want to be able to help other children and families less fortunate this Christmas.   

“Sleigh2Give is all about spreading cheer joy smiles to children in hospitals, including families and siblings of babies in the neonatal care unit through the SSNAP charity.”

Mr Baker has dedicated his life to fundraising since the age of 14 and is a keen supporter of the Oxford Mail's campaign in support of the Oxford Children's Hospital.

Emily Thresher, who works as a dance teacher at the Mini Professional Dance Academy, said: “We are helping the charity by getting all of our parents and students – and anyone we can – to come in and give donations of toys.”

She added: “We have a little Christmas tree set up in the reception of our studio, and there are already lots of toys underneath the tree ready to go. We are getting a trail of donations each day. 

“It's really lovely to see the kids get involved and come along and pop something under the tree, and I think everyone is super supportive of it. It feels really nice to be able to help those who are a little bit more needy.”

You can drop off donations at the Mini Professionals Dance Academy, 12 Banbury Road, Kidlington OX5 2BT


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