They say that seeing is believing and it was only when I saw how many toys had been collected for this year’s campaign that I knew how generous Reading was.

Every week, the Chronicle has been promoting Reading Family Aid’s annual Toys & Teens appeal and it is fair to say the community responded to our plea.

On Tuesday, I journeyed down to the collection venue to hand in the donations we had received from the public, as well as the toys my colleagues and I have been collecting.

As I stepped through the doors, I was met with a hive of activity. Dozens of volunteers were sorting toys for boys and girls of different ages, while others were putting the gifts into bags, ready to be distributed to disadvantaged children.

Reading Chronicle:

A tremendous amount of work goes into the appeal every year and several schools, business and individuals have risen to the challenge by donating a vast number of toys.

While I was there, I spoke with the Mayor of Reading, councillor Debs Edwards, who was the first person to donate to this year’s appeal.

She said: "It really shows what Reading is capable of as a community. There are areas in Reading which are in the top 20 per cent of poverty in the country.

"A child or a teenager having a present that has been donated will make such a difference to their Christmas Day.

"A present that is sent and donated with love makes the parents weep.

"The appeal has really grown since I was last mayor and the number of toys we have this year is fantastic."

Reading Chronicle:

Hundreds of families approach the charity every year and many would not be able to provide their children with a toy at Christmas if it was not for Toys & Teens.

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

Thanks also go to Waitrose & Partners, Caversham Vehicle Hire, The Big Yellow Self Storage and Austin Logistics for their support.

I hope to be able to report on just how many families were supported by this year's campaign in the coming weeks.

To everyone who got behind this wonderful cause - a huge thank you for your generosity.