A business park is calling on other businesses to support appeals to bring Christmas joy to children and older folks.

Father Christmas will be tiptoeing into homes of more children thanks to the work of “Silent Santa”.

Silent Santa is an anonymous well-wisher collecting gifts for underprivileged children in Darlington area, who might otherwise have few or no presents on Christmas Day.

People are asked to fill shoe boxes with gifts for youngsters aged five to six, seven to eight and nine to 11, marking the age and gender they would suit.

Estate manager, Eddie Humphries, said: “It is really heart-breaking to think of any child being forgotten at Christmas, but not every child has the home circumstances we’d want for our own family.

“It can make a real difference for a child to feel valued enough to receive a gift and we are all delighted to be able to help spread the magic of Christmas and make that happen.”

Boxes can include toys, games, stationery, toiletries, sweets, hair ties and bows combs, brushes, hats, gloves and scarves and craft kits but nothing that could melt or leak, nuts or dangerous items such as knives.

Donate a shoe box before Thursday, December 12 for distribution around the borough.

Santa will also be looking after older folk through Lingfield Point’s Home Instead Senior Care’s appeal to touch the lives of older people who may be lonely or isolated during the festive period.

All the gifts will be distributed to lonely people living in the Darlington area – no need to wrap them as the Home Instead team will do that when they have decided which gift suits which recipient. The appeal runs until December 13.

Both collections are being facilitated by Lingfield Point and donations can be left at the Management Suite in Beehive or Lingfield House reception.