A BRADFORD councillor has thanked those who brightened up Christmas and the New Year for vulnerable residents with a "lovely surprise".

Cllr Fozia Shaheen (Labour, Toller) said the community of Girlington came out in force to support those most in need and help them through what can be a difficult time of year.

Through the centre's new community interest company - Dream Big, Aim High, over 50 hampers were distributed to children in care, the homeless, asylum seeker and refugee families and the elderly who are isolated or lonely.

Cllr Shaheen said: “I’d like to thank everyone who donated gifts and everyone who volunteered their time freely. People who have received the hampers have been delighted to have such a lovely surprise.”

The project brought together women from all backgrounds - from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh communities to healthcare workers who distributed the gifts.

Local businesses donated craft materials and colouring books while residents donated sporting equipment.

The not-for-profit organisation called 'Dream Big, Aim High' seeks to empower women through voluntary work as well as leadership and engagement in community activities.

Cllr Shaheen added: “Christmas can be a very stressful and difficult time for families and individuals.

"It’s been a real team effort and shows how the Girlington community comes together to help others.

"As a Councillor, this has given me lots of joy to see the good work going on in the community, but as a Bradfordian, I couldn’t be prouder to see how all our communities and businesses can pull together to ensure everyone is remembered during the Christmas festivities.”