[IMAGE: Some of the presents donated]
The Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) Christmas Tree Gift appeal has merrily exceeded last year's total number of gifts received, meaning that more children in care this year will receive a gift this festive season.
The campaign was launched last month at a ceremony involving the Commissioner switching on the Christmas tree lights outside New Scotland Yard and encouraged the public to take a tag from one of the Christmas trees placed in their borough that held basic information on the age and gender of a child for which they could buy a suitable gift - costing no more than £20.
Last year's campaign saw MPS officers deliver 6,840 gifts to vulnerable children whilst this year police will be hand delivering 11,360 gifts to care homes, residential foster homes and even hospitals and refuges across London.
In addition, this year saw over £9,000 generously donated by the public and our partners via the 'JustGiving' website which will be used to buy gifts for those children whose details were allocated to someone taking a tag from the trees, but for whatever reason, gifts were not received. Some of the money was also donated to a nursery in Richmond that burnt down and lost their toys.
News of the campaign spread so far that a gift was received from a six-year-old girl in Germany, while another came from Portugal. Gifts also came via the post from Scotland, Ireland and Yorkshire while police in Surrey, Essex and Kent accepted presents and delivered them to Met police stations.
PC Rebecca Robinson who organised the campaign said:
"The simple idea behind the appeal - providing gifts to children and young people who are having a tough time - seems to have captured the hearts of many people at this time of year,"
"It's a real team effort to get the campaign up and running, and it's worth all the hard work when you read some of the comments we've had on our JustGiving page as well as Facebook and Twitter.
"One lady left a comment that said because her daughter was no longer with us; she wanted to make a donation in her memory to help another child on Christmas day."
Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said:
"We have seen our most successful Christmas Tree appeal, which since its launch in 2012 has grown from strength to strength. Because of the generosity and goodwill of officers, staff and fellow Londoners, over 9,000 presents will be given to children and young people in care this Christmas."
"My heartfelt thanks go to all who donated."
The presents will be all hand delivered by officers in time for Christmas day.
You can read the comments made about the campaign this year on the Met's Facebook page: