Security and infection control restrictions are very much in place at Alder Hey and we ask that you do not come to the hospital to make a toy donation without emailing us to agree a time in advance: [email protected] 

Our security team may deny access to anyone without proof of appointment.

For Christmas 2021

A donation from you now means we can guarantee a gift to all our brave young patients at Christmas whilst ensuring we continue to bring magic to Alder Hey every single day of the year! If you prefer to make a specific or peronalised donation at Christmas time please contact us to discuss further and to review the options available. Or you can donate to our Play Appeal here.

There are some limitations on what we can accept in order to conform with infection control, health and safety and as we have limited storage space. We can only accept new toy donations and there are some types of gifts we cannot accept at all, such as soft toys, clothes and second-hand toys. We also have restrictions, ensuring all items are quarantined before being distributed. This means we will have a deadline for receiving toys and gifts, to ensure they can be given out in time for Christmas. This year all gift donations should be with us by 17th December.

We have put together a list to give you an idea of what you could donate for our young patients, and some guidance about what we can and cannot accept. Please note all toys must be marked with the new British Kite Mark. If you are unsure of whether or not a donation will be acceptable please give us a call on 0151 252 5716. Items should not be gift wrapped.

Toy donation ideas

Our patients are aged 0 to 16 and we are often short of gifts for teenagers, who take as much pleasure in a gift as our younger patients. In addition to the items below, we also accept chocolate eggs at Easter and selection boxes at Christmas. We also offer the option for you to donate virtual gifts so that we can ensure that all our patients receive gifts appropriate for them.

If you purchase a Virtual Christmas Gift you will receive a thank you card showing your donation which you can proudly display or gift to someone you love, knowing your donation is making an incredible difference to our young patients and families. Virtual Gifts can be purchased here.

You can also simply send a donation by texting HEYSANTA 5 to 70580 to donate £5.
Texts will cost £5 plus one standard network rate message.

Toy donation ideas for babies

  • Musical toys
  • Sensory toys
  • Rattles
  • Soft books

Toy donation ideas for young children

  • Art and craft sets - we really can't get enough!
  • Board games
  • Jigsaws and puzzles
  • Plastic toys – Must be brand new and still in their packaging
  • Themed toys – e.g. Disney, Peppa Pig, LOL dolls, superheroes, Pokémon

Toy donation ideas for teenager

  • Art and craft sets
  • Books and comics
  • Journals, notebooks, stationery
  • Games consoles and gadgets
  • Online gift vouchers for downloading music or games

Toys and gift donations, we CAN’T accept

As mentioned above, we can’t accept certain toys, games and gifts due to health and safety and infection control regulations. The gifts we can’t accept are:

  • Second-hand toys
  • Clothes
  • Soft toys
  • Large items
  • Food items without an ingredient list

We recently opened our first charity shop that raises vital funds for our children’s hospital. If your donation is unsuitable for a patient gift, please contact us if you would like to donate it to our charity shop instead.

If your business wishes to organise a toy donation or gift collection on behalf of Alder Hey patients, please contact us in advance so we can help you arrange it. We are always grateful to the many businesses and organisations who donate to Alder Hey.

If you have a product or service that you wish to donate to us as fundraising prizes or to use for our charity auctions, contact us today.

If you are representing a business or organisation and would like to discuss partnering with Alder Hey Children's Charity, please visit our

Corporate fundraising page.

Toy donations are a lovely way to contribute towards Alder Hey Children’s Charity as they not only help to put a smile on the faces of the children in our care, but they can also boost morale and brighten up the children’s wards – something that is reassuring for their families. We get a lot of questions about what you can and can’t donate to our cause in terms of toys and other gifts. Whether you want to donate toys for Christmas or simply want to know where you can get involved in toy donations throughout the UK, we’ve put together a list of FAQs to make it clear:

Can I donate toys and games?

We do not accept soft toy donations due to issues with infection control, but other toys and games are welcome as long as they are new. We accept toy donations for children of all ages, from young children in the hospital to teenagers who also need round the clock care. Please consider all age groups when choosing your donation.

Where do I donate my toys?

Simply get in touch with us where we will give you the information needed to donate your toy. Please contact us  so that we can arrange to accommodate your delivery and arrange quarantine. You can also donate Christmas presents  in bulk to our charity – we arrange a large collection of toys from businesses all over the UK that want to donate Christmas presents to our hospital. Get in touch if you would like your business or organisation to be a part of this.

What makes suitable toys for charity?

As mentioned above, due to infection control, health and safety and storage space, we have listed the exact toys and games that we are able to accept as toy donations. Although second hand toys should go to a good home, unfortunately we can only accept new toys to the hospital, so please remember this is you’re looking to donate used toys. Our charity shop in Old Swan will happily accept your used toy donations, so you can still support Alder Hey with your pre-loved toys. Please contact our shop to arrange delivery.


For more information about how we manage toy donations at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, then please do not hesitate to contact us.


You can simply send a donation by texting HEYSANTA 5  to 70580 to donate £5.
Texts will cost £5 plus one standard network rate message.

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