AN Italian restaurant in Bishopton has raised thousands of pounds to help make sure no child in Renfrewshire wakes up without a present on Christmas Day.

Last year, Angelini’s Pizzeria Cafe donated £500 to six local schools to buy presents for pupils from cash-strapped families in a dignified and discreet manner.

Now bosses at the Greenock Road restaurant have built on the appeal’s success this year to raise a further £532 for eight Renfrewshire schools in the run up to the festive period.

Angelini’s Pizzeria Cafe pledged to donate £1,500 to three schools in the local authority area last month and a further £2,756 was raised by customers who nominated schools they believed should receive support.

The eight schools that have received donations are Thorn Primary, Our Lady of Peace Primary, Bishopton Primary, West Primary, Kirklandneuk Primary, Barsail Primary, St Anne’s Primary and Trinity High.

Brian Cunningham, who co-owns Angelini’s Pizzeria Cafe with his neighbour John Mackay, said nominations for local schools had arrived from family and friends living in countries as far away as Italy, Australia and New Zealand.

He told The Gazette: “Last year, we heard about the impact on families due to Covid and we wanted to do something to help.

“However, this year, the feedback from teachers is that poverty is worse for many now as Covid continues.

“What is surprising is that it is working families who are struggling to put food on the table.

“Hearing these stories is heart-breaking and is the reason, this year, we wanted to help more families. We hope to make a big difference to the Christmas of around 400 children.”

Stephanie Hart, headteacher at Thorn Primary, said the school is delighted to receive the donation.

She added: “One of our school values is equity. This means we all look to remove any obstacles that our school community might face.

“Winning £532 from Angelini’s will help us support our families who may otherwise struggle this Christmas.

“Another of our values is teamwork and that is what helped us to win this generous prize. I would like to give my thanks to Team Thorn and Team Angelini’s.”