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THE Braehead shopping mall is backing an appeal for donations of Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children and teenagers.

A giant collecting box has been installed at the central atrium in the lower mall for donations of unwrapped gifts to be dropped off.

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All gifts will then be passed on to the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank appeal and volunteers there will distribute the presents to children and teenagers up to the age of 18.

This is the third year the shopping centre has supported the appeal, which was started by Renfrew mum, Lauren Roy-Sutherland.

Last year, the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank provided 1500 gifts to young people, but this year Lauren reckons the referrals they will get from various charities, social workers, community groups and the local Food Bank could reach as high as 4000.

Lauren said: “We are finding more families than ever before need a donation from us this year.

”Covid has definitely taken a toll on family finances with redundancies that are taking place and although people are still in work, they are being furloughed and receiving 80 per cent of their wages.

“But as always, people have been very generous with their donations and we’d like to thank Braehead for her support in allowing us to have a collection box in the mall.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “With all that has been going on this year it’s more important than ever to make sure children and young people can celebrate and enjoy Christmas.

“Our visitors to Braehead have always been extremely generous when it comes to donating gifts for young people of all ages and I’m sure it will be the same again this year.

“And we’d like to thank them for everything they have donated in the past and what will be donated this year.”