A Greenwich mum is running a campaign to donate presents to families in need for the fifth Christmas in a row.

Brenda Parara runs the Joy this Christmas campaign which gives preloved toys, teddy bears, board games and warm clothing to vulnerable children in south east London.

Last year, the campaign gave presents to over 200 children and she hopes they will be able to make Christmas special for 250 to 300 local children this year.

More than 230 people have already signed up to donate presents while the GoFundMe page has reached £270 of its £500 target in just 10 days.

Brenda said: “It’s really humbling to know people will put their hands in their pocket for someone they’ve never met.

“People are amazing, we couldn’t do it without the local community.”

Nomination forms are sent out to community groups and eight local schools to identify those families most in need, which allows them to personalise the gifts for each child.

Brenda set up the project in 2018 and now runs the campaign each year alongside a full-time job, with friends and family pitching in to help.

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In particular her husband Rob, son Jayden, as well as friend and colleague Breda Kelly have helped her “tirelessly night after night.”

For two to three weeks each year, they spend five hours an evening collecting presents from across south east London and have already racked up a waiting list of 230 people so far this year.

To make Christmas day perfect, they wash each toy, count the pieces in every jigsaw puzzle, give dolls a makeover, and pack extra batteries for electronic items.

People can support the campaign by organising to donate toys by email at joythischristmas@hotmail.com, donating to the GoFundMe page, or purchasing specific items from their Amazon wish list.

The campaign has also received support from Card Factory which donates hundreds of pounds in gift bags each year.

Last year, one family told Brenda: “Christmas can be a hard time of year buying for all the children. I am so grateful for your support, generosity, and kindness.

“My children will wake up on Christmas day so happy all thanks to you.”

Another said: “Christmas is so hard for us we can't afford to spoil the children as we'd like to.

“I used to dread Christmas but you have made it the most magical time. Thank you.”

Brenda said: “For me, it’s about the children being able to have a day that they never thought was possible, and to come back to school and talk to their friends about their Christmas day and the gifts that they got.”

She encourages anyone who can help with storing leftover items throughout the year or with securing a bulk discount for winter clothing from Primark to get in touch.

The deadline for collections is December 7 while the GoFundMe and Amazon wish lists will be open until late December.