SOUTHAMPTON businesses, charities and community groups have been praised for their generosity following a Christmas appeal.

An “astonishing” 10,600 toys were given to children across the city after a two-month appeal.

The mayor of Southampton, Cllr Peter Baillie, held a special reception on Tuesday to thank those who contributed.

Representatives from organisations across the city including Westquay, Hampshire Constabulary were invited to the reception, where they were thanked for their support and generosity and presented with a certificate by the Mayor.

The appeal meant that young people had a special gift to open over festive season – whatever their circumstances.

The toys were given to children aged up to 18-years-old who are being supported by Southampton City Council’s children’s services.

Cllr Peter Baillie, said: “I’m very proud of what the city has achieved through this appeal and I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who supported it. It was heartening to see so many members of the public as well as businesses and other organisations come together to help young people who may have been facing difficult circumstances. Whether you donated a toy, helped wrap a gift, or helped with deliveries – well done. You have helped put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.

“I’d also like to congratulate hardworking staff in our children’s services teams, who alongside their busy day-to-day jobs gave up their time.”