IT'S that wonderful time of year again when we at the Telegraph & Argus aim to bring some Christmas cheer to less fortunate children and their mums with our annual Toys & Tins Appeal.

The appeal is the fourth one we have launched and each year the number of donations grows, thanks to the generosity of Bradfordians who don't hesitate to help out those less fortunate than themselves.

As usual we are asking for unwrapped gifts for boys and girls of all ages which may be left at our reception address in Hall Ings between 9.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.

We're also asking for tinned food or items that are non-perishable with a long shelf-life.

Last year you didn't disappoint us and hundreds of items were donated to the collection and helped ease the pressure from stressed and vulnerable mothers and their children at what should be a joyous time of year.

Sadly not all families have the benefit of a secure home so we hope people will continue to support us in making this day as happy as we can for them.

This year the donations are being collected by Bradford Survive & Thrive, a consortium which launched earlier in October and is part of Staying Put, a Yorkshire-based charity which incorporates domestic violence services along with charities Family Action and WomenCentre.

It creates a one-stop shop for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

Formerly run by Bradford Women's Aid, the aim remains the same to help women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence and provide shelter and safety.

Often the women are forced to flee from danger with few or no possessions so the Toys & Tins Appeal will ensure their children have a gift each at Christmas and the mum's will be able to provide food.

In previous years readers have also donated toiletries and other essentials for the mums.

Feedback from the charity workers who deliver the presents says the children are thrilled with their presents and the mums are grateful for being thought about and remembered.

Yasmin Khan CEO of Staying Put said: "“We’re very grateful that the T&A is supporting our survivors this Christmas, and we’d like to thank all those who generously donate to the Toys & Tins Appeal.

“The families we support often have little or nothing of their own and Christmas can be a very bleak time for them as they are desperate to give their children some normality and happiness.

“Many families become homeless and destitute and struggle financially due to domestic abuse or sexual violence so these donations are hugely appreciated.”

Nigel Burton, editor of the T&A added: “Thanks to the generosity of our readers and local businesses last year we were able to ensure that all the children being looked after in the women's refuge received a gift last Christmas.

“We ask the public and local businesses again to help us spread some festive joy and ensure these vulnerable people, living in difficult circumstances, have a happy Christmas.”

The last date for donations is Friday, December 13, so the charity can wrap the gifts in time to be delivered for Christmas.

For more information on the services provided by Staying Put, go to

There is a helpline, open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, when a dedicated and specialist team will be taking calls from those in need on 0808 2800999.

The national helpline is open 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.