OPERATION Christmas Child is well under way in Wiltshire, with volunteers of all ages busy sorting boxes filled with gifts at a warehouse in Westbury. 

Thousands of shoeboxes are being prepared to be sent to children worldwide to spread the spirit of Christmas and make sure they don’t miss out on receiving a present. 

The operation is run by the Samaritan’s Purse charity, who are a Christian organisation which provide water, sanitation, sustainable livelihood and emergency relief to people around the world.

Dave and Georgie Beaumont, who are both retired, have been volunteering with them for seven years making sure the operation runs smoothly and give up their time to help out with the cause.

Warehouse manager Mr Beaumont said: “We’re still in the early stages of collecting but they will come in rushes next week. We’re the only warehouse in the South West so they will all be coming here so it’s a lot to sort. 

“It’s something we both wanted to do as it fills some of our time and it’s become a passion as we enjoy doing it. The end product is that thousands of children are getting a shoebox which will hopefully bring a smile to their faces.” 

Shoeboxes are sent to children aged between two-14 and people can specify on the label on the box the gender and age range they would like it to go to. The warehouse is on the Westwood trading estate where volunteers run the distribution. 

Mrs Beaumont said: “We check the boxes a total of four times before they are taped to go out. We check for a donation and items that aren’t allowed in - but we always replace it with something that is. 

“The stuff not allowed in the box goes to a foodbank or other local charity so they’ve all got a home. 

“In our society, toys are part of celebrating so if someone is filling a box for a child you’ve usually got a child in mind. As it brings a bit of hope To a child it means that someone, somewhere has thought about you.”