A FINAL push is being made to make Christmas a special day for as many children as possible, regardless of their background.

Reading Family Aid, the charity behind the annual Toys & Teens Appeal, is asking residents to bring festive cheer to those in need this year.

It is a sad fact that nearly a quarter of children in Reading are living in poverty and the charity has had requests for presents from more than 1,300 children in 2018.

With the deadline (December 2) fast approaching, the Chronicle is hoping readers will open their hearts and give generously to the campaign.

Ruth Perkins, chair of Reading Family Aid, said: “The response we have had this year for toy donations has been excellent.

"We have filled two of our storage rooms, but one room is empty so we still need toys to fill that room too.

"We have a huge number of children under the age of four needing presents this year, so new baby and toddler gifts will be especially welcome.

“Hopefully the toys put smiles on their faces and lightens their lives for a few days at least and hopefully it opens their eyes to the outside world and to a world where people really do want to help them.

"Perhaps, it gives them hope and in a practical sense it relieves the parents of some of the burden of wondering how they will manage this Christmas.”

The charity is accepting new or 'as-new' toys for children aged 0-16 who may otherwise go without on December 25.

As well as being a sponsor for the appeal, the Chronicle is also a donation point and we are accepting contributions up until the deadline.

The charity want to thank SatireAid for starting an Amazon Gift List, as well as Hewlett Packard Enterprise for filling 450 Christmas Stockings for the appeal.

Similar thanks go to the Berkshire Freemasons and Fence children's toys charity for their donations.

Visit: www.readingfamilyaid.org if you would like to find out more about how the charity helps families across Reading.