Kind-hearted residents, businesses and organisations across North Ayrshire are being asked to help make this Christmas a special one for families less fortunate.

North Ayrshire Council has launched a Christmas Gift Appeal to support families struggling this festive season.

The Christmas Gift Appeal will run from Thursday, November 19 to Tuesday, December 15 aim is to give gifts to families who, for a range of reasons, are not able to give their children a Christmas that most of us take for granted.

Items are being sought for all ages, including: toys (children); books (all ages); high street vouchers (teenagers); Christmas treats eg. selection boxes/sweets (all ages); supermarket vouchers (parents/carers).

Drop off donations at any library on Tuesdays, between 2-4pm or Thursdays, between 10am-12noon. Items will be stored for 72 hours, as per quarantine arrangements.

All gifts will be redistributed in the local area and any donations of Christmas treats such as selection boxes, sweets and tins of chocolate, will be sent to North Ayrshire Foodbank for inclusion in their Christmas Hampers.

All donations should be dropped off unwrapped, so that council staff can determine the most suitable age group to receive the gift.

Provost Ian Clarkson said: “We know that many families across our communities are struggling financially, now more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And with Christmas just around the corner, this can turn what should be a joyous occasion in to a stressful one for those parents and carers trying to make ends meet.

“That’s why we have launched our Christmas Gift Appeal. We are calling on our residents and businesses to spare a thought for those less fortunate and, where possible, donate to the appeal.

“Each contribution will go a long way in making a real difference to someone’s Christmas who otherwise may receive very little.”