BOSSES at a Renfrewshire shopping mall are backing an appeal for Christmas gifts that can be given to disadvantaged children and teenagers.

A giant collection box has been installed at the central atrium in the lower mall at Braehead, in Renfrew, where donations of unwrapped gifts can be dropped off.

All gifts will then be passed on to the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank appeal and volunteers there will distribute them to children and teenagers up to the age of 18.

This is the third year the shopping centre has supported the appeal, which was started by Renfrew mum Lauren Roy-Sutherland.

Last year, the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank provided 1,500 gifts to young people but, this time around, Lauren reckons the number of referrals it will get from charities, social workers and community groups could reach as high as 4,000.

She said: “We are finding more families than ever before need a donation from us this year.

“Covid has definitely taken a toll on family finances where redundancies have taken place and, although other people are still in work, many are furloughed.

“People have been very generous with their donations and we’d like to thank Braehead for their support in allowing us to have a collection box in the mall.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown, added: “With all that has been going on this year, it’s more important than ever to make sure children and young people can celebrate and enjoy Christmas.

“Our visitors to Braehead have always been extremely generous when it comes to donating gifts for young people of all ages and I’m sure it will be the same again this year.

“We’d like to thank them for everything they have donated in the past and what will be donated this year.”