STAFF AND customers at the Tesco supermarket in Stroud are making sure Christmas will be special for local families in need.

Julie Sarahs, community champion at Tesco in Stroud, has helped gather two overflowing trolleys of toys for Stroud families. 

She said: "The Toy Drive has been a great success - Tesco’s customers were even more generous than we thought they would be. 

“The tree at the front of the store was decorated with tags for each family that needed something for particular children and people chose them something and put one extra in their basket.

"We have been overwhelmed by the response.”

Stroud News and Journal: Julie Sarahs, Tesco Community Champion (left), Kate Buckingham, Stroud Town Council EngagementThe donated gifts were delivered to the Town Council's offices where Annie Page, Food Co-ordinator for the Network of Stroud Hubs, will ensure they are delivered to local families.

"I usually distribute surplus food to each of the community hubs so that they can cook for the customers in their pay-as-you-feel cafes," says Annie, whose post is funded by Gloucestershire County Council.

“It's a nice change to be collecting a Christmas delivery here today! No doubt this will bring joy to people opening gifts on Christmas Day.”

The public have also been purchasing toys for donation through the small independent retailer, Duckling’s Toy Shop.

Manager Josh Pattison said "It's been great to see people willing to get one extra for another family who aren’t able to have as many new toys at Christmas.

“On Goodwill Evening, the event lived up to its name, with many of the toys drive items coming in during that evening.

"We would welcome holding the Toy Drive again and it is great to think that no family is getting left out in Stroud this Christmas.”

The Town Council offices in London Road has been used as a drop-off point for the town centre shoppers and they have a good may presents to wrap and distribute.

Town Council engagement officer Kate Buckingham said: "It's a real team effort between the retailers, the council and The Network of Stroud Hubs to get the items needed.

"We are so grateful to Stroud’s residents for their generosity, even though times are tight.

"We are looking forward to getting the presents out to their new homes."