A CHILDREN’S centre in York has been handed a huge Christmas present.

A donation of toys has been made to the NSPCC’s service centre in York after the annual Snowball event in Harrogate had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Every year the Snowball supports the NSPCC, with each guest at the Swan Hotel in Harrogate bringing a toy for the children helped by the charity’s service centre in York.

This year’s event had to be cancelled but, undeterred, the organisers raised more than £2,000 in donations to purchase some presents and gifts for children.

The NSPCC said the impact of coronavirus has been felt by everyone, adding that many children became the hidden victims of the virus – suffering abuse and neglect at home, increased risk online, or further pressures on their mental health.

Staff at the NSPCC’s York service centre say they have worked to be there for children during the difficult times, adapting therapeutic services so children and their families in need can still be supported.

Debra Radford, the NSPCC’s York service manager, said: “The presents are so wonderful. The staff are thrilled that they will be able to give children and families we work with such lovely gifts.

“This year has been so very hard for children and parents who already had a lot to deal with before the pandemic and lockdowns.

“I helped to sort through the gifts and I admit I was really emotional – our supporters have bought things that are so thoughtful and appropriate. There were many soft and nurturing gifts which will be perfect to cuddle up to and continue the nurture that they need - as well as practical, educational and fun games and books.”