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The Christmas spirit is well and truly alive within Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary this year, as more than 2,000 presents were donated by officers and staff across the force as part of our annual festive Toy Appeal.
Santa's elves were hard at work loading the gifts on to trucks at our training headquarters in Netley today, to make sure they would be under the tree by Christmas morning.
Working with our partners at Southampton City Council, every present goes to a child in need this winter to make sure their Christmas is just as special as everyone else's.
Today (December 2), Detective Superintendent Amanda Horsburgh and Julie Dennis, one of the force's Management Assistants, welcomed members of Southampton City Council, colleagues from ACRO Criminal Records Office and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Terry Norton to Netley to officially hand over the presents.
Det Supt Horsburgh said: "I just want to say a massive thank you to everybody who has donated these presents.
"Every single donation is going to a real child. We have a list of 2,000 names and we have surpassed that this year.
"There is a whole room filled with presents there for children who will now have a very different Christmas thanks to the kindness and generosity of everyone who donated.
"It's incredible we are able to do something like this and I can't wait to do it all again next year."
Deputy PCC Norton said: "It is a shame that we have to do things like this at all, but people's generosity in the midst of a cost of living crisis is still clear to see. There are more than 2,000 gifts here to ensure that Christmas is a positive time for all."
Revd Dom Jones, the Force Chaplain, added: "This truly is the season of giving. You can barely walk in that room for all the presents and I want to thank everyone for giving so generously."
Steph Murray, Deputy Director for Children's Social Care and Early Help at Southampton City Council, added: "We are incredibly grateful for the care and energy Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary has put in to this year's Christmas Toy Appeal.
"2,000 Southampton children will have a Christmas with beautiful gifts because of the efforts of this fabulous team. This is about making lifelong memories. Thank you."