Volunteers at the Santa’s Toy Bank in Ely are preparing to help families this Christmas.

The people of Ely showed such "magnificent support" for the toy bank when it was launched last year that organiser Peter Harris is hopeful even more families can be helped in 2023.

“Last year we were overwhelmed by the response of individuals and organisations who got behind the idea and this year we want to help even more parents who find it hard to afford presents for their children,” explained Peter.

Once again he has the backing of St Mary’s Church which will be the main drop-off point for new gifts or pre-loved toys, suitable for children up to the age of 15.

The church will be open to receive gifts from December 4-14 during office hours from 11am till 3pm.

Ely Standard: Volunteers are hoping the 2023 toy bank will be a huge success.Volunteers are hoping the 2023 toy bank will be a huge success. (Image: Liz Sayres)

Peter, a former City of Ely councillor and founder director of King’s International Study Centre, is well known in Ely for his philanthropic efforts supporting an orphanage and school in Cambodia.

“Working in international education I am very familiar with the poverty in south east Asia but my time as a city councillor, in a comparatively affluent part of the country like ours, brought me into contact with so many families struggling with the cost of living crisis and Christmas puts them under extra pressure.”

The Toy Bank at St Mary’s Church will open to anyone in need on Thursday, December 14, from 3pm-8pm, on Friday, December 15, from 1.30pm-6.30pm and on Saturday, December 16, from 11am-4.30pm.

You can follow Ely’s Santa’s Xmas Toy Bank on Facebook. Peter Harris can be contacted via email: pjhely@gmail.com or by phone: 07889100357 or 07814558120.