A FLINTSHIRE-based charity broke its own record to provide more than 2,500 children with gifts for Christmas in 2022.

North Wales Superkids helps bring happiness to disadvantaged children and young people via a series of projects.

The main one of these is their annual Toy Box Appeal which once again proved vital at the end of last year.

Every gift is important and the help from Superkids can be the difference between a child having nothing on Christmas morning to having that special feeling of unwrapping a present.

The charity has collected thousands of gifts since it formed 23 years ago.

In 2019, it sent out 1,721 bags, in 2020 it rose to 2,250 as the pandemic took its toll, and 2021 saw the charity fill 2,577 sacks.

This year, Superkids went a step further and collected 2,589 to be distributed to children all the way across North Wales - including the likes of Anglesey, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Porthmadog.

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North Wales Superkids founder Margaret Williams told the Leader that the donations received were a 'relief', particularly with the UK in the midst of the cost of living crisis.

She added: "Every year, we see some form of increase in the donations made. This year's numbers were up again, perhaps not as big of an increase as we expected but we had tightened the criteria.

"We always want to emphasise that we're a crisis service, not a top-up. We are here to prioritise those who are really at a disadvantage and those who are most vulnerable.

"This year we have been able to reach out further afield on Anglesey and the likes of Blaenau Ffestiniog. We have also helped a lot of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

"As well as that, we had a lot of last minute families in looking for presents due to a number of reasons. Some had had benefits sanctioned, others were worried that their presents wouldn't arrive on time.

"Our last bags went out on the evening of Christmas Eve."

Margaret was also keen to thank the local community for its support once again.

She said: "Being quite honest, if it had not been for our local businesses and the people from the community, then none of this would have happened.

"Everyone has been absolutely amazing, including our tireless volunteers. An increase in our drop-off locations - from Wrexham to Anglesey - also helped us collect more items than before.

"You're always worried about having enough to give. So it was a relief to see so many donations, as you can only work with what you've got.

"It's so gratifying. I had quite a few people we've helped in the past get in touch to say they now want to help others too."

The sacks filled by the Superkids team usually include around 10 items per child, depending on the person's age.

Each year, they donate toys, games, crafts, books, sweets and teddies to appeal to a range of ages.

There are also toiletries and small home items, such as picture frames and candles, for older siblings or vulnerable and socially isolated care leavers and the homeless aged 18-25.