An appeal for donations of Christmas presents to give to disadvantaged youngsters is being backed by intu Braehead shopping centre.
Bosses at the giant retail and leisure destination agreed to set up a collection point near the customer service desk in the upper mall, from Thursday November 1, for donations of gifts for children and teenagers up to the age of 18.
Now shoppers are being urged to donate brand new toys, books, games, selection boxes, presents suitable for teenagers and even intu Gift Cards to the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Appeal. The group is also asking for donations of wrapping paper and gift bags.
Photo: Lydia Brown, left and Lauren Roy-Sutherland get some help from Santa as they prepare for the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Appeal at intu Braehead
The group will then distribute the gifts to parents and carers of youngsters who have been referred by various charities, social workers, community groups and the Renfrewshire Food Bank.
Renfrew mum, Lauren Roy-Sutherland, started the toy bank, which is backed by Paisley and Renfrew North MP, Gavin Newlands and Renfrewhsire News.
Lauren explains: “I started the toy bank because I realised that some children are given a huge amount of presents while others hardly get any, or none at all because their families can’t afford it.
“It’s a real shame that there is this inequality and kids suffer through no fault of their own. Our aim is to help families who are living in poverty.
“If you can donate even just one item, it can make a huge difference to a child on Christmas Day. It can give them self-esteem knowing they have had nice presents while other kids are telling their friends about how much they got at Christmas.”
Lauren added: “And of course, part of the joy of Christmas Day for children is unwrapping a Christmas present. Let’s make sure all children can experience that happiness.”
Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “It’s fantastic what Lauren and all the other volunteers at the Renfrewshire Toy Bank are doing.
“It must be heart-breaking for parents who can’t afford to give their kids presents at Christmas and it must be worse for the youngsters having to listen to their friends telling everyone how many presents they got to open on Christmas Day.
“I’m sure lots of people will rally round and donate even one item that can giver a child a really happy Christmas this year.”