Stevenage residents are being urged to donate new and unwanted toys to support families during the cost-of-living crisis.

Stevenage FC Foundation, Stevenage Vineyard Church and Govia Thameslink Railway have teamed up on the project, which aims to ensure that disadvantaged children don't miss out on a gift this Christmas.

The organisations hope to receive a total of 230 toys as part of the Toyshed initiative. It accompanies Vineyard Church's ongoing Foodshed, a foodbank that is open to anyone living in Stevenage and the surrounding villages.

Joe Goude, chief executive of Stevenage FC Foundation, said: “This year our community needs us to play our part as the cost-of-living crisis becomes a reality for more and more within our town.

"The opportunity to support families in need is something we’re proud to be doing and we’re really grateful to have GTR’s support to help the Toyshed reach its target of 230 toys.

"In addition to this, the Supporters Association will make their annual donation to the Bluebell Children’s Ward at Lister Hospital, and we thank everyone associated with the club and our community for any support they can give over the coming months."

Shaun Smith, Great Northern station manager at Stevenage, said: “We’ve worked with Stevenage FC for a number of years, so when we heard that the Foundation was launching a Christmas Toy Drop, we wanted to extend our support because we know there will be lots of local families struggling this Christmas.

“People who travel through the station or live in the area can drop off good-quality toys throughout the month of December and we will work with the Foundation and the Toyshed to get the items to those who need them most.”

New and unopened toys can be donated to the Christmas Toy Drop by speaking to a member of staff at Stevenage railway station, taking donations to Stevenage FC Foundation at the Lamex Stadium, or dropping items off at Stevenage FC Academy, next to Shephalbury Park.

The football club’s next home game is on Saturday, December 10 against Mansfield Town. Those attending the game can take toys along with them and drop them at the KidZone.