GENEROUS residents have donated hundreds of toys to ensure vulnerable children in Tendring don't go without presents this Christmas.

Officers at Clacton Police Station have been inundated with presents following the launch of their Christmas Tree Appeal.

The presents have been stored ahead of their delivery to children across the district.

The appeal has seen residents buy gifts after taking a tag from the tree outside the station, in Beatrice Road, as well as from Clacton Town Hall, Tendring Council's Pier Avenue office, as well as Harwich and Dovercourt Community Hub.

The tags detail the gender and age to buy a present for.

Insp Darren Deex, from Clacton’s Community Policing Team, said gifts will be handed to girls and boys aged between one and 15 ahead of Christmas.

“The response has been phenomenal," he said.

“Together with partners we have been identifying vulnerable families in the district and I think the gifts will make a huge difference.

“Some of the children receiving gifts may have experienced many Christmases without a present – so the community has really helped put smiles on their faces this year.”

Insp Deex thanked PCSO Matt Ladkin and missing person liaison officer Jamie Skipper for their work throughout the appeal.

Terry Oliver, who owns Clacton-based T Oliver Builders, donated £700 of toys to the cause.

The father-of-one said: “There were a number of tickets left and I thought about those children and it didn’t sit right with me.

“I had a chat with my wife and I said we needed to do something.

“Our daughter gets a good Christmas and we get a lovely meal - we are a very fortunate family. I just hope my donation makes a difference.”

The team were also visited by Graham Cole - who played PC Tony Stamp in ITV's The Bill - who is set to appear in panto at Clacton's Princes Theatre.

The Christmas Tree Appeal runs until Monday.