THE Glasgow Times as launched a new campaign to save Christmas for families across the city.

Today, we are calling on readers to help ensure every child wakes up to a present on December 25.

The Bank on Us Toy Appeal is calling on Glaswegians to donate toys to youngsters throughout the city and take pressure off the hard working mums, dads and guardians who are facing an uncertain festive period due to the Covid-19 crisis.

And we’re going to make it really easy for you to donate – by including a paper bag inside our edition on December 4, which you can fill and take to drop-off points across the city.

As Glasgow prepares for a fresh lockdown, we hope you will join us in doing all we can to spread some Christmas spirit to those who are struggling most this holiday season.

Assistant editor Stacey Mullen said: “The Glasgow Times is proud to launch our Bank on Us Toy Appeal during one of the toughest years this city has ever faced.

“The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in ways we could have never imagined and tragically for many, this Christmas will not be a happy time especially for the city families who are struggling.

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“Our goal is to save Christmas for Glasgow’s kids and with the generosity our readers showed last year when we launched our Bank On Us campaign to provide emergency food parcels, we are confident they will back our latest campaign to spread some joy to those who need it the most during the festive season.”

AS the festive season approaches, toy banks across the country are gearing up for an influx of struggling parents and guardians hoping to bring joy to their little ones this Christmas.

Each year, hundreds of Glaswegians are referred to the sites by social workers, foodbanks and children’s charities.

However, this year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause redundancies and businesses to fold, it’s expected to be worse than ever before with potentially thousands of families across the country relying on the banks.

John Beattie, from Govan’s Community and Beyond Toy Bank, said in a statement: In a statement, John said: “The Community and Beyond Toy Bank will be operational again this Christmas to help struggling families across the West of Scotland provide their children with gifts.

“We hope that you continue the wonderful support you have given us since 2015.

“Each year we get bigger and help more children – so let’s continue that trend.”

Donations can be made to the Riverside Hall.

The appeal has been backed by some of the city’s largest companies, including A1 Toys, First Bus, and Scotwest Credit Union.

Storage Vault and football news website Open Goal are also joining the team as sponsors.

David Burns, director of A1 Toys, said: “It’s been a horrible year for everybody and anything we can do to help out I would be delighted to do.

“I’ve got kids of my own and I know a lot of people are struggling this Christmas so anything we can do to help people in our community is something we definitely want to do.

“Not to get too political but there are a lot of people out of work at Christmas who shouldn’t be so anything we can do to help we will.”

A1 Toys, which is sponsoring the appeal, will offer a drop off service for online customers using its click and collect feature while stores are closed due to the Scottish Government’s level four ­restrictions.

From December 4, shoppers will be able to set aside a toy for the appeal in their online basket to fill the Glasgow Times paper bag.

The toy retailer will then add an extra 20 per cent of value to every bag donated, which will then be picked up by Glasgow Times staff and delivered to local toy banks. Readers can also drop their gifts off directly to the toy bank closest to them.

David added: “The website has been doing really well but the shop shutting for three weeks at Christmas is insane.

“We do 55 per cent of our sales in November and December, the rest of the year we’re just treading ­water waiting for Christmas.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but we’ll see how we come out of things. There’s some optimism for the vaccine coming out, but that won’t be for Christmas and people will still need these presents. We hope our customers will turn to us.”

Read more: Bank On Us Campaign

It is hoped the shop will serve as a drop off point if lockdown restrictions ease as planned on December 11. Meanwhile, donation bags can be dropped off at the Storage Vault’s Glasgow, East Kilbride, Bishopbriggs, Cambuslang and Paisley locations.

Duncan Cameron, Operations Director for First Glasgow, said: “We are delighted to once again support the BANK ON US campaign this Christmas.

“A little bit of extra Christmas spirit will go a long way this year after the difficult year it has been for everyone. First Bus is proud to serve Glasgow. We are delighted to do our bit in supporting the campaign and helping to deliver toys for Christmas to some of the city’s most vulnerable families.”

Later this month, the winner of our primary school competition to design a logo for our toy bank ­appeal will be revealed.

Hundreds of incredible designs have been received since the contest closed in October. Judges are currently carefully considering who to choose as the winner, who will receive a £50 prize.