Today the Gazette & Herald is launching our annual festive appeal to ensure needy children have presents to open on Christmas Day.

Last year we worked with the Salvation Army to make sure more than 220 children from across the county received brand new toys in December.

But although we have several drop-off points for toy donations, this year we are still looking for more businesses to take in gifts.

In Chippenham, toys can be dropped off at the Gazette & Herald office, Elite Fashions on Station Hill and the Salvation Army in Foghamshire. Toys can also be dropped off at the Gazette’s office in Devizes and at estate agents Henry George in Kingsbury Street, Marlborough.

Being a drop-off point is easy as all the toys will be picked up by the Salvation Army volunteers from your store or business.

A small team of around eight volunteers from the Salvation Army will then sort the toys according to lists of needy families provided by social services.

Salvation Army Captain Lisa Goble said: “It’s really helping those families who are struggling financially. It would be hard to be a child and to have nothing under the tree. Obviously with the recession around, families are finding it hard this year.”

Toys must be brand new and we need toys for boys and girls of all ages, including teenagers.

Please don’t wrap toys, because they need to be sorted, but you should bring them in a box or bag so they can be picked up easily.

Call Captain Goble on (01249) 655458 if you can help.