Unfortunately The Farm Animal Sanctuary didn’t come in the top 3 in the mud control competition but the company are donating 60 slabs to the 7 unsuccessful organisations who made the top 10.  There is an option to purchase a slab or two for them to add to the 60 they are getting to cut down on delivery costs, so if anyone wants to purchase a slab for them -it’s £6.60 per slab, or £13.20 for two, or £27.60 for 4 slabs, and so on. You can either fill out the order form on the www.mudcontrol.co.uk/order website, or email them with your name, Invoice address, how many slabs you want to purchase and for which charity.  I don’t think this offer will be open for long so alternatively you could donate to


The theme for the Link to Hope shoeboxes for September is toys and games.  Suggestions on their poster include –  yoyo, skipping rope, toy cars, draughts, dominoes & playing cards. Ideally games should be included in the elderly shoeboxes as well as the family shoeboxes.  Playing cards are ideal for the elderly shoeboxes.  Someone living alone could play patience, or they can play any number of games with neighbours, dominoes are also good for the elderly shoeboxes.  Poundland do 2 packs of playing cards for £1.00 or a pack of wooden dominos with 5 dice for £1.00

Home Bargains and Bargain Buys have packs of small yoyos in their party gifts section, and Wilko also sometimes have packs.  Skipping ropes can be expensive but One Below and Poundland sometimes have them for £1.00 each. 

One Below have packs of 10 small plastic cars – I usually divide them up between shoe boxes – adding 2 or 3 per box so that if there are a few children in the family they can have one each.  Poundland do some packs of 2 metal cars or the construction set shown in the £10.00 challenge.  Adding tennis balls or an un-inflated football and pump would be really appreciated by most children (and some parents).  I’ve only ever found un-inflated footballs on eBay and again you need to shop around as prices vary by seller and even by date.  The more you buy the cheaper the price.  Football/bicycle pumps are usually available at Poundland or One Below – just check they have adaptors for footballs included. 

Poundland often have small furry toys for £1.00 and sometimes fashion dolls, but it’s worth checking the quality of the dolls as some have hollow legs and arms that seem very flimsy so might not last long.  Party bag toys can be good to add some variety – and again great to add a few toys so that all children in the family get a toy.  Packs of mini flutes/recorders are often available in Home Bargains, party blowers are also cheap to add to a box.  Bubbles are also good value but make sure you add tape around the top and I usually also put them inside a plastic bag in case they leak. 

You could make a noughts and crosses (tic tac toe) game – using buttons or counters, and a fabric bag.  There are patterns on line to make simple knitted teddies – these can’t go in the box but are used as packing in the larger outer boxes and then handed out at the destination.  You could also make finger or hand puppets – as long as there is no stuffing involved they can go in the shoe box. 

Not related to this months theme but Superdrug still have travel sets of 2 x 50ml mens travel sets including a 4 in 1 wash suitable for hair, face, body and a shaving cream for 49p and they are currently 3 for 2 so 3 sets for 98p !  Bargain!

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