An annual toy appeal in Sutton Bridge is now open so generous donors can put a smile on the faces of children who might not otherwise receive a present.
It was started around five years ago by Phil Scarlett, who died in September, and his wife Anne soon after they moved to the village.
But the campaign remains in caring hands with Jellys and Jollys Community Association, which Anne chairs.
“I think we gave to about 20 families last year,” said Anne. “We get all sorts of toys from little push bikes to Teddy bears and train sets to games.”
Toys are donated for children aged two-16 years, with recipients nominated confidentially simply by first name, age and address, which helps the right toy to go to the right place.
Anne says: “We don’t have any more information than that, which is just the way we want it.
“We always have a bit of money to give a voucher if there are any more children in the family outside the age range.
“We never know how many children will be nominated until about two weeks before Christmas. It’s all very last minute.”
Phil enjoyed playing Santa Claus, delivering presents to homes, and when asked where they came from he would reply “a friend”.
Phil and Anne threw themselves into village life, both becoming parish councillors, and Phil led the parish council’s project to put up Christmas lights on Bridge Road this year.
Fellow parish councillor Diane Cook recently asked that the lights be dedicated to Phil and paid tribute to Phil and Anne’s contribution to village life.
She said: “I think they just wanted to get involved to make Sutton Bridge a nicer place to live.”
The parish council lights will go along one side of Bridge Road and Diane is fundraising for lights on the other side, collecting £170 at a recent table top sale in Holbeach.
To donate to the toy appeal, please leave your gifts at the library in The Curlew Centre or The Anchor Inn, both in Bridge Road.