SECRET Santas are being sought to help light up the faces of disadvantaged children this Christmas.

Worcester Foodbank has launched its annual Christmas Toy Appeal in a bid to make sure hundreds of children don’t wake up to an empty stocking this Christmas day.

The charity is urging people to donate unwrapped new toys that can be used for boys and girls aged from 0 to 18, whose families are forced to turn to foodbank for emergency food over the festive period.

Toy Project Manager, Cary Taylor, said: “We cannot bear the thought of any child waking up on Christmas Day to find an empty stocking.”

“Even the smallest gift will mean the world to a child that can only dream of enjoying the kind of celebrations many of us will experience.

"We’ve had a wonderful response to our appeal over the past two years and I know that the people of Worcester will help us to bless hundreds of children again.”

Two stores on the Shambles – The Entertainer and Argos – have thrown their support behind the appeal by setting up collection points where their customers can leave donations purchased in the shops.

The Entertainer has also provided some foodbank volunteers with vouchers to spend on toys.

Supporters are being asked to spend no more than £15 on gifts.

The foodbank has also released a shopping 'wishlist' so people know what is most needed.

Items include alcohol-free goodies such as Christmas puddings, mince pies, tinned custard and Christmas cake.

Also useful are staples such as coffee, long-life fruit juice, long-life milk, tinned rice, tinned ham, tinned turkey, tinned sausages, tinned potatoes and tinned fruit along with shampoo, small washing powder, strong carrier bags and tin openers.

You can also donate peanut butter and crackers, toilet cleaner, toilet rolls, stuffing and gravy, sponge puddings, Cranberry sauce, and Christmas treats.

Toys, gift cards and donations of food can all be dropped off at the foodbank’s Lowesmoor warehouse every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am to 2pm.