PRE-LOVED toys were collected on Saturday as families chose Christmas gifts for their children at a pop-up event at the Tavistock United Reformed Church.

The event was staged by Tavistock Rotary Club and nurse Isabel Williams, who first came up with the idea two years ago to help families who are struggling to afford Christmas presents for their children.

Isabel said there was “a fair turnout” for the distribution session which saw hundreds of gifts given out. The remained were delivered to other families requesting gifts from the project by email. Pretty much all the donated toys found a home.

‘We’ve had some extremely grateful recipients who were overwhelmed by the generosity and the weight that had been lifted from them due to financial pressures,” said Isabel. “When one woman asked how much things cost and I told her it was all free she said ‘oh my goodness!’ And began to cry.”

She said the only thing they had struggled to provide were presents for teenagers.