Residents across Carmarthenshire are being asked to help make a child’s Christmas by donating a gift to those less fortunate.

The message comes as Carmarthenshire County Council’s launches the eighth Toybox Appeal which helps hundreds of children with families who can’t afford to buy gifts or toys.

Presents donated by kind people are given to families who, for a range of reasons, are not able to give their children a Christmas that most of us take for granted.

Schools, family centres and youth workers identify those who are in greatest need of support.

Last year, over 6,000 gifts were donated to 957 children from birth to teenagers.

People kind enough to donate are asked to provide gifts from babies from 18 months up to teenagers and unwrapped so that they can be easily sorted.

Council staff are joined by volunteers to sort, wrap and deliver toys in the run-up to Christmas.

The council’s Toybox Appeal co-ordinator, Nia Thomas said: “Many can’t afford to buy gifts, or toys for their children, and will go to loan sharks in desperation. The Christmas Toy Box Appeal has ensured that local children, who might otherwise receive nothing or very little, are given a gift at Christmas. When you're out and about doing your Christmas shopping this year, please spare a thought for those less fortunate families, and purchase an extra present to donate to the Christmas appeal. Every gift donated will make a difference for those families for which otherwise Christmas would otherwise be just another day! Let’s put a smile on a lot more faces this Christmas by being generous to those less fortunate across the county.”

Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at a number of collection points throughout the county by December 1. People can also donate gift wrap, scissors and sellotape for the volunteers. You can also give a monetary donation which will only be used to buy toys and gifts. You can send your contributions (cheques payable to Carmarthenshire County Council) to Building 2, St David’s Park, Job’s Well Road, Carmarthen SA31 3HB, or telephone 01267 246657 if you have a cash donation.

Gifts can be dropped off at donation collection points across the county. In Ammanford you can take them to Tesco, The Hub, Leisure Centre, Library and Barclays Bank. Also Cross Hands Library, Bedol Library, Brynaman Library and Glanaman Community Centre. In the Towy Valley you can take donations to Llandeilo Education Centre, Llandeilo Library, Llandovery Leisure Centre and Llandovery Library.