FAMILIES in Trowbridge facing another tough Christmas as a result of job losses and reduced incomes in the pandemic are being helped by the annual Salvation Army's annual toy appeal.

The charity is expecting the number of people requesting support to be greater this year and is hoping townspeople will be generous.

Church leader Michala Lancefield said: “Every year we ask people to donate brand new toys and gifts to our Christmas present appeal so we can distribute them to families whose children would otherwise not receive a gift. Due to the amazing generosity of our community, last year, we supported some 200 families and 300 children with toys and presents.

"This year, we are expecting the number of families requesting help to rise as a result of the extra pressure on already tight family budgets. By adding an extra present or gift to your shopping list this year you can remind families facing a tough winter that their communities care.”

Gifts can include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys, books, toiletries and accessories for older children. All donations must be brand new and should be unwrapped.

Michala said: “We are in the final planning stages for this year’s appeal which will run from November 15 to December 6. We are grateful to local supermarkets who have once again agreed to act as collection points for us throughout this period."

People will be able to take their donations to Tesco Extra in County Way, Trowbridge during normal store opening hours,The Shires management office Monday-Saturday 8.30am-5pm and Sundays 10am-4pm and Morrisons in Westbury and Warminster in normal store opening hours

Donations can be taken to the church building in Castle Street, Trowbridge on December 3 between 4.30pm and 6.30pm and December 4 between 10.00am and 2.00pm.

The charity will sort and distribute the gifts to children and families in the area through their contacts at social services. Suggested gifts for babies to three years are soft toys, colourful and fun educational toys, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes.

Three to five-year-olds can have books, dressing up clothes, cars, lorries, dolls, and soft toys, educational toys, CDs, suitable DVDS, colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books, puzzles, footballs;

Children aged five to nine can have dolls and action figures, educational games and toys, colouring sets, pencils, crayons, CDs and family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, skateboards, sports equipment and clothing.

Games and toys, sports equipment and clothing, stationery, CDs, DVDs, books, T-Shirts, hair ornaments, gloves, scarves, hats are suitable for nines to 12s and CDs, DVDs, books, non-allergenic toiletries, gloves, scarves, hats and other fashion accessories, can be given to 13 -18s.