GENEROUS Journal readers have once again shown their community spirit to make sure those less fortunate do not go without a present on Christmas Day, in our best ever appeal.

Hundreds of gifts have been donated this year, to be handed out to vulnerable people in the city.

Presents have been given to Salisbury Women’s Refuge, Salisbury Trust for the Homeless, Salisbury Hospice, the children’s ward at Salisbury District Hospital, Alabare homeless charity and many more.

Lisa Kerley collected gifts for young homeless people at The Foyer, in Wilton Road.

“A lot of them may not see any family, or get any presents or love over Christmas at all,” she said. “Just to have a present to open shows their community cares and knows there are people less fortunate.”

Dave and Bev Kidley run Morning Star, a Christian charity feeding and working with homeless people or those with substance misuse issues.

“Obviously homeless people have very little, so this appeal shows people genuinely care,” Bev said.

The couple have been helping families in their community who are struggling around Christmas, including one mother of three who has been struggling with money.

Bev said: “When we went round the other day she said she had only got a few things for her kids for Christmas.

“When I said the Journal readers were going to be helping, her face just lit up and she started to cry.

The Journal has received beautifully wrapped gifts throughout December, ranging from single presents to bags bursting with parcels.

Derek and Mona Mitchell, who own Mitchell’s Chippy in Pinewood Way, collected more than £300 in donations from their customers.

They handed the money to The Entertainer, in Blue Boar Row, which used the money to select and wrap 37 presents for the appeal. Store manager Stephen Ford used his staff discount to add another £76.50 towards the gifts.

And Alison Murphy and Kate Hedges said they were “overwhelmed” by the number of presents they received after they held a joint 50th birthday party and asked for gifts for the appeal instead of for themselves.

Journal publisher Bill Browne said: “This has probably been the best year ever for gifts from our kind readers and we are so grateful to them for making so many people happy.”