Bradford on Avon’s ‘giving tree’ is returning for its ninth Christmas, and this year it has had a spruce up.

The 12-foot-tall tree will tower over the town once again for the six weeks leading up to Christmas, encouraging locals to come and donate gifts to charities this festive season.

But this year’s Nordic pine, located in Lamb Yard, will be accompanied by two brand new red collection boxes which have been hand-crafted by Keith Bailey.

The tree will also be decorated with new glass art, which was created by local artist Alex Compton to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with nine ladies dancing.

The aim of the ‘giving tree’ is to act as a communal donation point for selected charities, where locals can come to the tree and put donations in the present-shaped boxes under the tree.

This year, the town is collecting donations for The Hub, Bath Cats & Dogs Home, and Julian House.

Wiltshire Times: Alex Compton's glass 'ladies dancing'.Alex Compton's glass 'ladies dancing'. (Image: Trevor Porter)

“Each year we are delighted with the generosity of the gift givers in Bradford on Avon and the surrounding areas,” said Giving Tree organiser, Christopher Curtis.

“It’s a real privilege to deliver hundreds of Giving Tree donations every year to the wonderful teams at Bath Cats & Dogs Home and The Hub and Julian House.”

Katy Goodship, community and corporate partnerships fundraiser at Bath Cats & Dogs Home added: “We are so grateful to the people of Bradford on Avon for their ongoing support of our animal welfare and rescue work.

“We rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome around 800 unwanted, abandoned and mistreated local animals each year from the Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire area.” 

Suggested donations that can be given to the animal charity include dog and cat food and toys, harnesses, washed and dried dog coats and blankets, training treats and scratch posts.

For The Hub and Julian House, who work to relieve poverty and provide children's hospices, suggested donations include toiletries, dry food, gloves, hats, underwear and sleeping bags.

"We are thrilled to be associated with the giving tree and Lamb Yard - and are overwhelmed by the generosity of our amazing supportive community,” said Cathy Hearn, manager of The Hub.

"This year has been particularly hard for people and it is wonderful to be able to spread a smile."

“Perfect storm is an often overused description but right now that is how the immediate future looks for Julian House and the people that we support,” added Cathy Adcock, fundraising manager at Julian House.

“Donations made to the giving tree will be given directly to those in our care."