FAMILIES suffering hardship this Christmas will be able to enjoy some festive sweets and biscuits thanks to the Finlay Foundation.

It delivered dozens of boxes of biscuits and selection packs to the Devizes and District Foodbank.

The charity, named after six-year-old Finlay Connor, who was killed in an accident outside Woodborough School near Pewsey in 2011, has given away more than £80,000 worth of toys and equipment since it was formed in 2014.

Niki Connor, Finlay’s mum, said this latest gift fits perfectly with the charity’s mission “to help children smile”.

The food bank, based at Devizes Community Hospital, gave out 979 emergency food parcels between April 1 and September 30 - 401 went to children. The total was a rise of 44 per cent on the same period last year.

Food bank manager Liz Starling said: “These will go out with our emergency food parcels and boxes for Christmas. We will also use them in parcels for families during the school holidays.

“We are so grateful to the Finlay Foundation for this support, it is an amazing charity. This gift is very generous, and we really appreciate it.”

At Christmas, as in all holidays, schools closing down means children who would normally receive free meals have to be fed – which combined with the pressure of having to buy presents is enough to leave parents unable to buy enough food.

“In the summer we gave out 302 bags to families from seven schools in Devizes and two in Marlborough and I’m sure we’ll do the same again at Christmas,” said Mrs Starling.

The Finlay Foundation is preparing for one of its largest fundraisers of the year, a Christmas Fair at the Corn Exchange in Devizes on Saturday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

It will feature more than 30 stalls selling Christmas present ideas. There will also be a raffle and refreshments.

Said Miss Connor: “Fundraising is fundamental to our existence and our craft fairs are one of our annual fundraiser events.

“We always really look forward to the day and receive such great feedback from stall holders and visitors alike. There is such an array of quality gifts and crafts on sale and we hope that many people will still have some Christmas shopping left to buy.

“We have a chef in the kitchen who will be preparing fresh food throughout the day and the prices will be very low to encourage shoppers to eat with us.

“There are always plenty of delicious cake on offer too. Our raffle is also very popular with some fantastic prizes on offer ranging from a night’s B&B at The Peppermill Devizes to a voucher worth £100 for an Alpaca experience. We look forward to seeing lots of people there.”

More details from the Finlay Foundation Facebook page at finlayfoundation.co.uk.

The foodbank is in need of cash donations as well as food to help it keep its service running.