FAMILIES in Ayr have benefitted from Openreach’s Christmas campaign for Home-Start to support some of the nation’s most vulnerable families and children.

Volunteers from the digital network business set out to collect 5,000 gifts for 1,100 children across 18 Home-Starts in locations.

Gifts handed in at Openreach collection points in Ayr, Kilmarnock, Dumfries and Stranraer included games, toys and books, arts and crafts, selection boxes, cosy blankets, hats and gloves along with wrapping materials and gift bags.

A Prestwick mum who has benefitted from the collections, and who asked to remain anonymous, said:”It really is invaluable to have this kind of support, especially at this time of year.

“For the last few years it has been a constant worry that I won’t be able to get my kids anything and then they’ll go to school with all their friends talking about what they got from Santa.

“Even just being able to give them a small gift or two and to see the smile on their face when they have something ti unwrap is really priceless for me.

“The help we get is something we couldn’t say thank you enough for.

“I know some other mums and dads in a similar situation to mine and I know they feel the same way as I do”.

The collections are part of a wider Christmas campaign across BT Group1 in support of Home-Start, which is one of the company’s UK charity partners ,along with UNICEF and the British Asian Trust.

Vivien Waterfield, deputy chief executive for Home-Start UK, said: “We are delighted that Openreach is supporting our families with this incredible project.

“It has been a difficult year for families so we are thrilled these Christmas gifts will help bring a smile to children and their parents.”