THE Gazette’s annual Toy Appeal has now closed for donations, but the hard work of delivering a special Christmas to Wiltshire’s children will continue throughout the coming week.

Toys have been collected from all the drop-off points throughout Wiltshire, with donations from all over the county, including Malmes-bury, Devizes, Chippenham and Marlborough.

Yesterday, groups of volunteers visited the Salvation Army to help sort, pack and label the toys ready for them to be shipped out to families.

Plentiful reader donations will make Christmas sparkle for many families who would otherwise struggle to afford presents for their young ones.

Julie Swales, service manager at the Rise Children’s Centre in Chippenham, said: “We could not manage without the Salvation Army. It’s an amazing thing that they do for us.

“Some children who attend our centre would not get presents without the Salvat-ion Army. We get the most wonderful gifts. It’s amazing to see the joy it brings.”

During a sorting session earlier this month, the Salvat-ion Army prepared parcels for nearly 100 children.

Margaret Roughley, a Salvation Army soldier, said: “The Christmas Toy Appeal is part of what the Salvation Amy does. I just enjoy doing it with everyone.”

Social services will distribute parcels to families who would struggle to buy presents for their children.

Margaret Gough, who also volunteered to pack gifts, said: “I love doing the Christmas toys.”

Recipients include families, young people on their own without family to support them and those with a short-term family crisis or a health issue.