For the third year running, the Clydebank Post is backing West Dunbartonshire Community Toybank’s campaign to help give those living on the breadline a more memorable Christmas.

The toybank is working in association with West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare project to collect donations of toys and goods from across the community to help those less fortunate.

Last year, people’s generosity saw more than 436 children presented with toys donated through the campaign and organisers are certain that number will increase this year.

Demand increases at the foodbank during winter, and Christmas often adds extra financial strain on already struggling families and individuals.

The Post is proud to support the campaign by collecting donations at our office in Clydebank, as well as publicising several other drop-off locations across the area.

Clair Coyle, a trustee of West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare, said organisers of the campaign were witnessing a year-on-year increase in the requests.

She said: “The biggest issue for many is delays with benefits payments which is a real problem for them as they try to cope with the demands of the season and having to pay bills.

“Also, people apply for budgeting loans which are automatically paid back through deductions from the money they receive in benefits. But it’s a catch-22 situation – the money they receive is already quite low and the loan repayments reduce it even further.

“Referrals are increasing and our phone has been going crazy with people looking for support as they become reliant on welfare.

“Each Christmas it is more apparent that families are struggling to provide gifts for their children. What should be a season of joy is one of stress, worry and debt for many in the local area.

“The intention of the toybank is to ease this stress by providing those families that are struggling with gifts for their children on Christmas Day.”

Clair added: “It is a great privilege to be able to continue the toybank into its third year. The response last year from the residents of West Dunbartonshire was truly remarkable and very generous.”

Henry Ainslie, group editor of Clyde Weekly Press, called on everyone to dig deep.

He said: “The dedicated volunteers at West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare perform a vital service for communities across Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale and we are proud to support the 2017 campaign.

“Hundreds of children benefited from the campaign last Christmas, and the demand this year is even greater.”

The toybank is seeking donations of new and unwrapped toys for boys and girls aged 0-17. However, there is a particular need for toys suitable for the 12 to 17 age category.

Clair said as well as non-perishable food items, toiletry donation would be welcome, including make-up, sanitary items and nappies.

A full list of the drop-off points in Clydebank, Dumbarton and Alexandria is given on the West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare Facebook page.

The Clydebank Post office is situated at Carus House, 201 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank, where donations can be left during office hours.