Bucks County Council overwhelmed as residents help to double last year's Christmas present appeal haul

Bucks county councillors Paul Irwin and Mark Shaw with some of the many thousands of donated presents
Bucks county councillors Paul Irwin and Mark Shaw with some of the many thousands of donated presents

Councillors say they are 'overwhelmed' at the generosity of residents after 2,000 gifts were donated for this year's Bucks County Council Christmas present appeal - double last year's total.

iPads and laptops are among the presents donated to this year's appeal – which aims to make children in need feel “special” during the festive season.

When he launched the campaign at the beginning of the month, councillor Paul Irwin said he hoped to beat last year’s haul of 1,000 – and now a staggering 2,000 have been donated by kind-hearted residents.

Now council staff have the difficult task of wrapping all the gifts before they are handed out to social workers to give to children and teenagers across the county.

Now in its fourth year the campaign encourages staff and councillors, as well as residents, to donate presents for hundreds of children in need – including those in care.

County councillors Paul Irwin and Mark Shaw have now thanked residents and staff for their generosity as gifts continue to pour through the council’s doors at their offices in Aylesbury.

Cllr Irwin said: “It’s great to do something so special after the year we have had, it’s almost like a mindful thing for me.

"I am going to sleep for a whole week at Christmas, but I have absolutely loved it.

“I want to get some feedback from social workers about how it as all gone, because we don’t see that side of things.

“It would be nice for people to know how much their donations have been appreciated.

"I think people like knowing they are helping children in their own county, because there are really deprived children in Buckinghamshire.

“We can’t change the world but we can change our little bit of it.”

Gifts are also given to homeless people living in refuge centres and young people who are leaving the care system.

Following the success of this year’s campaign the councillors said they will start planning next year’s much earlier to ensure the operation runs smoothly.

Cllr Shaw said: “It has just grown massively. We have had people ringing up and asking how they can get involved.

“We just wanted to make children feel special and look at the present and know people have been thinking about them.

“And seeing that whole room of presents shows just how many people are thinking about children in need. It’s amazing.”