MORE than 3,600 underprivileged children will wake up on Christmas Day to sacks full of toys thanks to a Knutsford-based charity.

Each sack will contain eight gifts, which have been donated to the charity or been bought with money which has been raised throughout the year.

The Toy Appeal was started in 2013 by Twemlow Green residents Dee and Chris Drake, who have been delighted by the response to this year’s appeal.

People can still donate new, unwrapped toys for this year’s appeal, and are asked to drop them off at one of the collection points in Knutsford, Holmes Chapel and Goostrey by Saturday, December 8.

“This will be the sixth year that we will be providing Christmas toy sacks to underprivileged children across Manchester and Cheshire,” said Dee.

“The appeal has grown from supporting 500 children a year to more than 3,600 this year, who will receive a total of 26,000 toys, and we would like to thank everyone for their phenomenal support.

“By this Christmas The Toy Appeal will have made Christmas Day very special for almost 11,000 children, who otherwise would wake up with no presents to open on Christmas morning.”

Thirty per cent of the toys are donated, the remainder being bought with money raised from fundraising events, including Egerton FC’s ‘A Night at the Oscars’ at the Mere in March and a ball at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester in November.

Working with social workers, schools and drop-in centres, the appeal is provided with lists of families who need help to ensure their children receive something at Christmas.

Each toy sack is made specifically for each child, based on their age and any special needs they may have.

Toys can be dropped off at Mr Simms Sweet shop, Toni & Guy, Diamond Nails, Corks Out, Barnshaw Smithy Café, Cottons Spa and Gym, Hal Whittaker, The Lambing Shed. In Holmes Chapel - Gascoigne Halman, Jonathan Myles Hairdressers, Costa Coffee, Dane Sound Radio, The Print Room and The Crown Inn in Goostrey.

There are also drop-off points in Alderley Edge, at Alderley Eyecare, Costa Coffee and The Mobile Agents, and in Wilmslow, at Costa Coffee, Harper & Quinn Hairdressing, Milkshake Boutique, and Toni and Guy.

The toys are sorted at Egerton Football Club in mid-December ready to be sent out.