With less than three weeks to go until Christmas, the Dorset Echo Toy Appeal has received a boost thanks to a Weymouth letting agency - and the proprietor's daughters. 

New business, Good Move Lettings is the latest company to donate £100 to ensure every child - no matter what their circumstances - gets a visit from Santa Claus. 

Now in its 18th year, the Toy Appeal aims to buy gifts and toys 
Proprietor, Matthew Sowden said: "We are part of the local community so we want to spend money and give locally. What better way to do so than by giving to children who would go without at Christmas." 

Mr Sowden has lived and worked in Weymouth for ten years but decided to 'step out on his own', starting Good Move Lettings six months ago. 

"The business is going well so I felt it was time to give back," he said. 

On hearing about their dad's donation, Mr Sowden's two daughters Constance Grace, 10

and Scarlett Evie, 7 both asked if they could donate £5 of their pocket money to help other children, bringing the businesses total donation to £110.

Echo promotions manager Debbie Hellaby said: “Without the support of our readers and local businesses we would not be able to help to put smiles on all those families faces at Christmas, so thank you.”

As well as business donations, members of the public have been donating new toys in bins found in shops around the county.

Debbie added: “We appreciate that this time of the year is a challenge for every family as each year we have an increasing number of applications made to the appeal for toys. 

“We urge those that can to donate, to pop a new gift to one of our collection bins. We particularly struggle to source baby toys and gifts for children age 13 to 16 years but will welcome any donations.”

Last year, the Dorset Echo raised more than £4,493 and collected hundreds of toys through the appeal and we are hoping to top that figure this year - ensuring even more children have a toy to open on Christmas Day. 

For more information or for any businesses wishing to make a £100 donation contact Debbie Hellaby on 01305 830 815 or email debbie.hellaby@dorsetecho.co.uk.