NEWTOWN’S Salvation Army is appealing for Christmas presents so that local families who are struggling to buy gifts for their children can make sure there is a surprise for them under the Christmas tree this year.

Major George Baker, Divisional Leader of The Salvation Army’s South and Mid Wales Division said: “It’s wonderful to see children’s faces light up when they open their presents on Christmas morning, but during the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet.

“The Christmas Story inspires us as a church to reach out to those in need, so we’re running our annual Christmas Present Appeal this year to help ensure that every child in Newtown gets to open a present on Christmas day.

“We’re asking for brand-new, unwrapped toys or gifts so the families we support and their children feel extra special on Christmas day. Anyone can donate gifts, but if you have children, grandchildren, or children you support, think about what they might like in their Christmas stocking and consider buying an extra present and donating it to our appeal this year.”

Powys residents are invited to donate a new unused toy for a child aged nought to 16-years-old at The Salvation Army’s shop on 7-8 Market Street, Newtown SY16 2PQ and the appeal is running until Wednesday, December 19.

The Salvation Army will wrap, sort and distribute the gifts to children and families in the Newtown area through The Salvation Army’s own networks, local groups, and social services.

Gifts can include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys and accessories for older children.

Gift ideas for children and young people:

• nought - three years: soft toys, colourful and fun educational toys, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes;

• three - five years: books, dressing up clothes, cars, lorries, dolls, action figures and soft toys, colourful and fun educational toys, CDs (music, stories and nursery rhymes), suitable DVDS, colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books, puzzles, footballs;

• five - nine years: dolls and action figures, educational games and toys, stationery (colouring sets, pencils, crayons, school sets), CDs and family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, word search, crosswords, skateboards, sports equipment and clothing;

• nine - 12 years: games and toys, sports equipment and clothing, stationery, CDs, DVDs, books, T-Shirts, hair ornaments, gloves, scarves, hats;

• 13-16 years: CDs, DVDs, books, toiletries (please try to ensure non-allergic ingredients if possible), gloves, scarves, hats and other fashion accessories.