A Bradford restaurateur has donated £6,000 to the Telegraph & Argus Children’s Secret Santa Appeal giving the festive fund a massive boost.

The hefty donation from Shabir Hussain of Akbar’s in Leeds Road was part of a £25,000 donation to the Lord Mayor of Bradford’s Sprinkle Sunshine appeal and was officially announced last night.

Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith, had already got the toy appeal off to a seasonally sunny start last month by donating £1,000 from his civic appeal.

The appeal, in association with Bradford-based Human Relief Foundation (HRF), is buying gifts for youngsters linked to Barnardo’s Young Carers Service and The Children’s Society’s Gateway Children’s Centre in Ravenscliffe.

But Sarah Gate, from HRF, said the latest huge cash donation would now mean a happier Christmas for many more of the district’s youngsters living in poverty.

She said: “Wow! That’s an amazing gesture. We already had a list of children we were buying presents for but this means we can really expand it and get presents for so many more. It’s wonderful news. Thank you so much.”

Coun Smith added: “It is a fantastically generous gesture. It demonstrates what a lion’s heart Bradford has when someone comes up with such a gesture.”

And Mr Hussain said: “It is Christmas time and there are a lot of these volunteer charity organisations that are really struggling that could do with this benefit.”

As well as the £6,000 going to the T&A Children’s Secret Santa Appeal, £3,000 is going each to the Bradford Soup Run, Hope Housing, the Immanuel project which help homeless and vulnerable people across the city, and soup and sandwich kitchens at St Joseph’s and St Patrick’s churches in Bradford.