AN Ilfracombe charity which distributes Christmas toys to needy North Devon children has appealed for an extra big push from the community this year as the credit crunch continues to bite.

Each year the TLC Community Benefit Shop in Portland Street fills with good quality new or used toys and gifts which are then delivered to those in need by the charity’s van in the days running up to Christmas.

With money in even shorter supply this year TLC is appealing not only to local people and businesses but also to schools in the hope that pupils and their parents can donate toys that are no longer needed but would be very welcome elsewhere.

TLC founder and project manager Ray Hooper has been running the appeal for 10 years now and is determined that each year every child in North Devon will have at least one present to open on Christmas Day.

“If you can help in any way we can collect,” he said.

“Good quality toys or any donation would be incredibly welcome — these families are genuinely in need, often following an illness or bereavement, or the children themselves are disabled.

“Thank you in anticipation of your help to bring some of the magic of Christmas to them.”

To help fund raising for the following year’s appeal, TLC also holds a Christmas Eve Carnival on December 24, with children and adults invited to don festive fancy dress and join a parade through the town to the harbour.

The procession forms up at Wilder Road car park and moves off at 11am. Anyone who wishes to join the parade either walking or with a float needs to collect an entry form from the TLC in Portland Street, Alan Jackson Shoe Repairs or Sonic Sounds.

Good quality toys or gifts for children can be left at the shop or delivery can be arranged. Call (01271) 866315 for more information.