A RETIRED legal secretary from Stourport has knitted 35 scarves for our Christmas gift appeal.

We’ve had a huge response since launching the 16th annual Shuttle Gift Appeal, run in partnership with charity Home-Start Wyre Forest, and generous readers have so far donated around 280 presents for local families facing financial or mental health difficulties.

Among those to support the appeal this week is Stourport’s Wendy Squires, who donated dozens of hand-knitted scarves to some of the district’s most vulnerable children.

Using wool donated by her friend Jean Meredith, also from Stourport, Wendy knitted 35 multi-coloured scarves and decided to support the appeal after seeing a story in The Shuttle newspaper.

Wendy said: “I did a similar thing last year - I donated to Brookside Children’s Centre in Kidderminster. I wasn’t able to do as many this year but I thought they would be a perfect Christmas present for some of these children.”

Home-Start's Belinda Darby said: "With a delivery from both Kidderminster Tesco and Co-op today with mountains of gifts, I think we have had around 280 so far with three weeks to go !

"This will enable us to ensure every child has at least one gift, possibly more and those leftover will be passed, as usual to the safeguarding leads at our local schools to be given to local children who we are not in touch with but who are known to be vulnerable."

Gifts can be donated until Monday, December 14 at Midcounties Co-op stores in Stourport and Franche Road, Kidderminster, the Swan Centre management suite, Franche Community Church, St Ambrose Church, St George’s Church, Tesco branches in Stourport and Kidderminster, and the Home-Start office in New Road.

Home-Start staff and volunteers will then wrap and pack the gifts and store them in a Covid-secure storage room for 72 hours before delivering them to families.

Presents can be of any value but must be new and unwrapped.

For more information about Home-Start and the Shuttle Gift Appeal, visit homestartwyreforest.org.uk or call 01562 825896.