A Middlesbrough branding agency is helping to spread Christmas cheer this year by donating toys and gifts to underprivileged children.

The Creative Alchemist, based in Middlesbrough’s Boho Zone, is supporting the Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal, which aims to give as many gifts as possible to kids of all ages in the local area.

The children who receive the gifts are identified with the help of education welfare teams, social services and health professionals across Middlesbrough.

Last year’s appeal allowed the Salvation Army to give gifts to 1000 children and hand out 200 food bags to families in the area. Numbers are expected to increase this year, as applications to the charity continue to rise.

It’s the fourth year that The Creative Alchemist has supported the appeal and the team is hoping to make this year it’s most successful to date. Jennifer Parvin, Operations and Finance Manager at The Creative Alchemist said: “In the last three years that we’ve supported the campaign, the generosity of people and businesses in Middlesbrough has been amazing.

“Last year, we were able to hand over 170 gifts and make Christmas special for children who would otherwise not receive a present.

“By making more people aware of the appeal, we’re hoping to be able to hand over even more this year.

“If every person reading this donated one toy or gift, we would be able to make a tremendous difference to the lives of local children and those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Among the appeal’s generous supporters this year are animation studio Annimersion, who have decided to donate gifts in place of their annual office secret santa, and Steve Clayton, a software engineer at game developer Double Eleven, who donates around 30 gifts every year.

“The thought of a child not having at least one toy or gift at Christmas was quite sad for me,” he said.

“Though it might sound a bit sappy, I think it’s worth it if it helps maintain a bit of innocence and joy for the younger kids at Christmas, and for the older ones to have even a hint that there are others out there who care.”

The Christmas Present Appeal collects new and unwrapped toys and gifts for children ranging from newborn babies to 16-year olds. Donation suggestions include dolls, teddy bears, cars, action figures, books, DVDs, puzzles, clothing, makeup and toiletries.

The Creative Alchemist is also able to purchase gifts on behalf of people who prefer to donate money.

“Christmas is a hectic time of year and not everyone has time to go shopping to pick up a gift to donate,” said Jen.

“For anyone who wants to support the cause with a cash donation or gift voucher, we will go out on their behalf and pick up a toy or gift from the Salvation Army’s list.”

Donations of toys and gifts to the Christmas Present appeal can be delivered to The Creative Alchemist’s office on the ground floor of Boho One in Middlesbrough. The last day for donations is Thursday, December 5th. If you would like to find out more about the appeal or make a cash donation, you can email jennifer@thecreativealchemist.co.uk for details or call 01642 224706.