GENEROUS donations made to an appeal dedicated to spreading festive cheer to families in need is hoped to give hundreds of children the gift of Christmas this year.

Dozens of toys, clothes and items of food have been donated to this year's Darlington Cares Christmas appeal in a bid to support those struggling to fund festivities this December.

Staff at Darlington Borough Council have been thanked for their contributions made to the annual campaign, with boxes stuffed with goodies, toys and treats collected from the Town Hall on Monday.

Chelsea Johnson, programme manager for the Darlington Cares group, said: “We are delighted with the number of donations from Darlington Council.

"People have been so generous and these donations will make such a difference to so many families.

"The aim of the appeal is that no child will wake up without a present on Christmas morning and these donations will really help.

“We have also been collecting donations from businesses across Darlington and we are grateful to everyone who has helped.”

Representatives from the Salvation Army and the King's Church, in Darlington, collected the boxes brimming with Christmas presents for youngsters of all ages and festive food for their families.

All of the boxes will be individually sorted and distributed by the Salvation Army and King's Church to families most in need across the Darlington borough in time for December 25.