Hundreds of toys adorned Stanborough Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Garston on Saturday morning for the church’s annual toy service.

Each year for more than half a century generous church members have donated toys for needy local children who would otherwise go without presents at Christmas.

Organised by Pat Walton, the daughter of the event’s founder Alf Kelly, the toys are collected and distributed to needy families by social workers who know where the toys will find good homes.

According to Pat: "The social workers from various institutions who are working in the children’s sector are delighted with the toys that they take away from Stanborough Park Church to give to the families they are working with."

For many of the recipients it’s a lifeline as otherwise their children would be in danger of missing out on Christmas.

Receiving the toys on behalf of the needy local children, Watford mayor Dorothy Thornhill, thanked the congregation for their generosity and reminded those present that although the economic situation was improving there were still many needy families in the area who would benefit from these toys.

Summing up the event, organiser Pat Walton said: "The Toy service always gives me a thrill especially when I see the children coming down the aisle onto the platform to put their toys in the sacks. "Some of the children do struggle to put their toy which they do not want to part with into the sack.

"It is also very rewarding to receive the toys ahead of Saturday morning from older folk in the church who seem so delighted to be giving a toy to a child this Christmas."