THE UK’s former Prime Minister Theresa May and Reading East MP Matt Rodda have expressed their support for a Christmas toy fundraiser.

The Christmas Toys and Teens Appeal, organised by Reading Family Aid, aims to support disadvantaged children at Christmas time.

The appeal will be slightly different this year due to the pandemic.

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The charity has set up a fundraising page and is asking you to donate money instead of gifts.

This money will then be used to buy new Christmas presents for disadvantaged children in Reading, which will be delivered directly to the organisations that help them.

Mr Rodda said: “I believe the Toys and Teens appeal is one of the most important at this time of year.

“I fully support it, and ask the community to offer all their help to make it the best one ever this Christmas.

“Due to Covid-19 it has been a difficult year for families and I believe this is an incredibly important initiative to help families at this difficult time.”

The charity explained more than 28,000 children are living below the breadline in Reading which equates to more than one in three children who live in poverty.

Conservative MP of Maidenhead, Twyford and Hurst, Rt Hon Theresa May, is also urging people to support the appeal.

Mrs May said: “I am urging as many people as possible to come forward and donate to Reading Family Aid’s Toys and Teens Appeal initiative.

“This fantastic local initiative raises money to ensure those most disadvantaged children locally receive presents this Christmas time.

“Christmas is a special time of year, but this year will be particularly difficult.

“That is why schemes such as this are more important than ever and Reading Family Aid do an excellent job bringing joy to many children throughout the festive period.”

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The fundraising page will remain open until December 4 after which the funds will be used to buy presents that will be sent directly to organisations and distributed to deprived children across Reading.

There will be no donation points this year and the charity is unable to accept any gifts to limit the spread of Covid-19.

As well as donating, the charity would be incredibly grateful if you considered holding a fundraising event.

You could organise a ‘mufti day’ at school or the office, a pyjama day for your ‘Zoom’ meetings, or share their crowdfunding page on your social media.

Click here to donate.