A HAMPSHIRE church and charity is ensuring some of the county’s children who might not otherwise receive a gift will wake up to presents on Christmas Day.

The Salvation Army is encouraging local people to add an extra toy to their shopping list so that families struggling to buy a gift for their children can make sure there is something for them to open on Christmas Day.

Major Gregory Morgan, The Salvation Army's divisional leader in southern division - which covers Hampshire said: “During the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet. The Christmas story inspires us to reach out to those in need, so we’re running the Christmas Present Appeal to ensure every child gets a present.

"It’s wonderful to see children’s faces light up when they open their Christmas presents and if you have children, grandchildren, or children you support, think of what they might like in their Christmas stocking and consider buying an extra present and donating it to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal. We’re asking for brand-new toys or gifts so the families we support feel extra special and our team of volunteers deliver your generous Christmas gifts to those who might otherwise go without.”

Residents are invited to donate a new unused and unwrapped toy for a child aged zero to 16 years old to The Salvation Army at centres across the county, including the Winchester branch in Parchment Street.