TWO Chard businessmen are raising money to buy gifts for children across the county and "put a smile on their faces" this Christmas.

Tom Poole, from Grubworkz Manufacturing based in South Petherton, and Gary Waddon, who runs Waddon Construction Ltd, launched a Christmas appeal to help disadvantaged children in Somerset.

Chard & Ilminster News: Some of the toys collected so farSome of the toys collected so far (Image: Contributed)

Mr Poole, production director, said: “Last year, me and a friend, Gary Waddon, decided to put some smiles on the faces of our local children.

“We started to raise money to purchase toys for a happier Christmas for disadvantaged children all within our community in Somerset.

“We all know that the cost of living is an increasing crisis. Many families struggle to afford to purchase toys/gifts for their children at Christmas which is so sad. Therefore, we are trying to support this by helping families.

“Last year, we left it a little last minute and only managed to raise around £1,000 mostly from friends with businesses in the town. But that said, we did manage to help around 250 families within Somerset.

Chard & Ilminster News: The toys will be distributed in DecemberThe toys will be distributed in December (Image: Contributed)

“This year, we are hoping to start spreading the message earlier, reaching out to our great suppliers, to ask if they are willing to contribute £100 towards this activity or whatever they can afford, or a voucher for us to purchase the toys at Smyths Toys.

“We gave the toys to the 'Lords Larder’, a registered charity who have a number of struggling families on their books, who receive regular charitable help.

“This year we are planning on gaining more support for this activity. We want to help more children in Somerset.

“With all your kind support, we are hoping that we will also be able to help children in our local hospitals on Christmas Day.

“So far to date we have managed to raise around £4,000 for this year but hoping that figure will keep rising over the coming weeks.”

They are planning to keep purchasing toys throughout November and start distributing them in early December.

Any company that would be willing to donate can contact