For the second consecutive year, the Leicester Mercury is pleased to be partnering with house builder Jelson Homes to launch its Christmas Toy Appeal for poorly children who will be spending this Yuletide season in hospital. The two driving forces behind this campaign hope that many local people will give much-needed new toys to drop off points* across Leicestershire as well as at the Leicester Mercury head office on St George Street, LE1 9FQ. Jackie Woodward, sales manager for Jelson Homes, comments: “Instead of heading downstairs to see what Santa has brought them, some little ones will be facing this Christmas in a hospital bed and we want this year’s appeal to brighten up their day, ensuring they get a special treat. “Hospital is never a nice place to spend time, but during Christmas it can be especially difficult for children and their families. A kind gesture and a wrapped present can make such a difference to the morale and the spirit of a young person who is fighting to get better. For far less than is spent on the average present, donors can ensure that someone who needs it gets a treat on Christmas Day. “Last year, with the Leicester Mercury backing us, we were able to reach out to thousands of families and hope to do the same again this year with the support and generosity of local people.” UK residents spend an average of £36 per Christmas gift and give away £300 to £500 in presents during the festive season, a recent study has revealed. A forum for mums also says that UK children gain an average of 20 presents each year and that a staggering £594 million is thought to go on unwanted presents, each year. How you can help The leading East Midlands housebuilder is asking families across Leicestershire to simply spend £10 on a new toy for Christmas and to donate it to the Toy Appeal - helping to put smiles on faces of local kids who would otherwise go without. The Appeal is looking for brand new toys, suitable for boys and girls aged 0-16. Examples include books, craft sets, building blocks, action figures, puzzles, plastic instruments, toy cars and trains, shape sorters, dolls and dressing up materials. No soft toys please. To donate, please bring toy donations to the Leicester Mercury Head Office at: St George Street Leicester LE1 9FQ or at Jelson developments in Barrow upon Soar, Birstall, Blaby, Broughton Astley, Corby, Hinckley, Loughborough, Markfield, Mountsorrel, Sapcote and Thurnby. All drop off points are now open.