THOUSANDS of toys, games and books which have been given by the people of Trowbridge will be distributed to families in need in whose children would otherwise wake up to no gifts under the tree on Christmas Day thanks to an appeal run by the Wiltshire Times.

Around 1,500 toys have been donated to the Salvation Army’s Toy Appeal which has been supported by the paper again this year.

Every year the appeal gives new toys to underprivileged kids in the UK who have been referred by social services. They have many drop off points where people have been bringing their donations, including many local supermarkets.

Last year over 400 present packages were delivered, a target which volunteers say has been met again this year,

Organisers have said the generosity and festive spirit of giving in the town this year has been outstanding.

John Hauselman, charity co-ordinator at the Salvation Army in Trowbridge said: “As your eyes fall upon this article, we at Trowbridge Salvation Army are at the end of the Christmas Parcels Appeal 2019, and thank The Wiltshire Times for their support.

“We are overwhelmed and deeply blessed by the generosity which has been shown through the huge array of toys that have been gifted and for which you have our heartfelt thanks.

“We could not do this without the support of Tesco Extra, Morrisons in Warminster and Westbury and the centre manager of The Shires who all kindly made space for the donation points, the many volunteers who helped to sort and pack the toys and gifts that are being delivered.

“Without the social services who will deliver the toy packages to some 400 children, the appeal would not be the success it has been. Basically, this is a real community effort.

“We hope on Christmas Day people will give some moments of thought to those families who find life a complete struggle not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

“May you find peace during Christmas and throughout 2020.”

As well has thousands of donations being made across the town, some have gone the extra mile and made toys from scratch to be given to the appeal.

One man from Trowbridge who wishes to remain anonymous has made several wooden toys including trains and rocking horses.

Sixth form pupils from St Laurance School in Bradford on Avon have also been doing their bit to help, as they dropped off 140 shoe boxes to the Salvation Army Hall in Castle Street, Trowbridge last week.

They also stayed for the morning to help with sorting and packing the toy parcels.

A truck from the Warminster Garrison arrived in Trowbridge loaded with toys for children of all ages, donated by the soldiers and their families.

Mr Hauselman added: “The wooden toys which have been made especially for us are just amazing.

“It really shows how much effort people are willing to put in to help us and support the appeal.

“The man who made these did the same for us last year and we would all like to thank him along with everyone else who made any donation, however big or small, and I would also like to thank the pupils at St Laurence School.

“Although it is hard work to pack all the toys up in the correct age ranges, it is very rewarding to know these will make many children’s Christmas.”