Toy services are taking place across the county today, as churches do their bit for this Christmas’s Wiltshire Times toy appeal.

A toy collection service was set up at the Salvation Army’s Trowbridge headquarters last Sunday and more children’s services will take place this weekend.

The services are all in aid of the newspaper’s annual toy appeal with the Salvation Army.

Toys collected will be donated to needy children across the county, many of whom would not otherwise get a present this Christmas.

Stephen Smith, of the Salvation Army, said: “We have just held our own collection service. We ask others to give generously, but we like to give ourselves as well, so we gave our congregation the opportunity to bring their donations to our usual Sunday service.

“We had a really positive response. We’re only a small congregation, of around 30 people, but there were probably about 40 toys donated, ranging from teddy bears to board games and skateboards, a wide range of age-suitable toys.”

Mr Smith stressed the importance of providing toys for children of all ages.

He said: “People tend to focus on the teddies and dollies, so it can be hard to find things for the older teenagers, but we always try to provide for as many children as we can.”

A puppet show will form part of the service at the church of St Mary the Virgin in Steeple Ashton.

Janice Smith, of the Salvation Army, which will help out, said: “We’ll be going along to Steeple Ashton on Sunday with the puppets for the toy service, where they’ll be performing a carol.”

Toys can also be donated at the Wiltshire Times office in Duke Street, Trowbridge, as well as the Tesco Extra in County Way and Sainsbury’s in Bradford on Avon, where two trolleyloads of board games were donated anonymously on Wednesday. This year’s appeal closes on Friday.