AN APPEAL has been made to Tavistock area families to help ensure children will not go without a Christmas present this year.

Residents who no longer need toys as their children or grandchildren have outgrown them or can afford to buy extra toys are being asked to donate them to help families struggling to get by. The cost of living crisis has made the appeal especially important this year as increased costs have made children’s presents more expensive than for many years while families are also battling to keep their heads above the rising financial waters with even food costing more.

To help struggling families in the town and even as far as Plymouth, a nurse and Tavistock Rotary Club have teamed up to that no child will go without a gift this Christmas. The club stepped in to guarantee the project could go ahead this year as in previous years..

Christine Ellis, of Tavistock Rotary Club, said: “Can you imagine anything worse than getting to Christmas Day and your children have no presents to open?  The general cost of living has risen, food prices have risen substantially and use of the foodbank has increased. This project hopes to ensure every child has a gift for Christmas.”

Presents were more than mere possessions: “They helped create happy childhood memories that are important as children grow up, good memories take a child forward in life. Isabel Williams, a cancer specialist nurse, said: “From previous years, the main issues are that we don’t have enough donations for older children and teenagers.

Also, I have always had lots of delivery requests for mostly Plymouth residents as, by nature of their circumstances, many of them can’t drive, which I have accommodated and thanks to Tavistock Rotary we will be able to continue with this service.”

Anyone wanting to help by donating unwanted pre-loved toys to children in need are asked to drop them to collection points at Tavistock Library or Tavistock Carpets from Monday November 6 to Thursday November 30. Items can include different toys, games, books, CDs, puzzles and action figures. Wrapping paper and batteries are also welcome. Last year more than 1,000 toys were donated and collected in person or distributed to homes and children’s centres and a women’s refuge.

The toys will be distributed at a free event at Tavistock United Reformed Church hall on Saturday, December 2 from 10am to 3pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the event and pick a gift. Anyone who needs help with their children’s presents, but cannot attend the distribution event is asked to email [email protected]