A car enthusiast has driven the extra mile to make sure disadvantaged children in Dorset have a merry Christmas.

Antony Pope who runs the MGF and TF car enthusiasts group, organised a car run around Dorset in support of the Dorset Echo Toy Appeal.

"I normally organise car runs in the summer but I thought, it's coming up to Christmas, let's do something for a good cause," he said.

The group of car enthusiasts took part in a 60 mile route around the county including breakfast, a tea stop at Dorchester Museum and buffet lunch.

Mr Pope said, instead of asking car enthusiasts for payment to participate in the car run he asked them to donate toys for the appeal instead - and collected more than two large bins worth of presents.

"I was looking for something local to support and my wife's pregnant at the moment so doing something for children - well it made sense to do it now and help under privileged kids," he said.

Mr Pope's generous donations will be given out in time for Christmas to children who would otherwise not get a gift this year.

The Toy Appeal has now been running for 18 years and aims to ensure every child, no matter what their situation has a gift to open on Christmas morning.

Throughout November and December members of the public have been donating toys to appeal bins found at stores across the county and businesses have been donating £100 to give us a boost to buy gifts and vouchers.

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.”

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.

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.