Toy Trust Big Challenge raises much-need funds for Starlight and Spread a Smile

Published on: 20th June 2022

Saturday’s Big Challenge event saw 200 industry professionals walk, run, cycle and compete in a team Dragon Boat Tournament for the Toy Trust.

Big Challenge dragon boat race winnersRun in support of the Toy Trust‘s 2022 main charity partners, Starlight and Spread a Smile, the 2022 Big Challenge event – the first to take place since 2019 – has been hailed a big success by all who attended and took part.

This year’s Big Challenge featured a highly popular Dragon Boat Tournament which saw companies and teams competing head-to-head in a series of races. The winner of the inaugural Big Challenge Dragon Boat trophy went to Lego’s ‘Destiny’s Bounty’. The event also included a very successful tombola and a prize draw of specially donated prizes from the industry, including many limited edition and money-can’t-buy items and experiences which raised an additional £1,600 on the day.

Following Saturday’s fundraising, the Toy Trust has pledged to donate the money to two inspiring and impactful children’s charities, Starlight and Spread a Smile. Both use the power of play to help children with life-limiting illnesses and those with severe illness who are undergoing traumatic medical treatment in hospital. The Toy Trust’s support is expected to make a difference to hundreds of children in need.

Gary Grant with his Outstanding Contribution Award.

During the event, a Toy Trust Outstanding Contribution Award was presented to Gary Grant for his many years of dedication to the Toy Trust and for his leadership within The Entertainer, ensuring the company’s support of the charity. During the presentation, it was mentioned that Gary has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Toy Trust over more than 20 years of unwavering support.

Graham Canning, Toy Trust committee chairman, said: “The Toy Trust Big Challenge continues to be a fantastic event that unites people from all corners of the toy industry to generate funds for the children’s charities that we support across the year. It is fantastic to see toymakers, media partners and retailers all pulling together for such a brilliant cause. Thank you to everyone who supported the event, by either participating, supporting or donating to the overall result – your contribution highlights what a committed and big-hearted industry we are. My congratulations and thanks also go to Gary Grant for his Toy Trust Outstanding Contribution Award which is very well deserved.”

Readers wishing to donate can do so via the Toy Trust’s JustGiving campaign. More photos of the event can be viewed here.

Details of the 2023 event are under consideration and will be released in due course. The organisers hope even more companies will attend next year. Higher attendance  will enable the Toy Trust to continue supporting the many children it helps each year.

To register interest in the work of the Toy Trust, or in Toy Trust events, email Matt Jones:


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