ALBION Stone is giving children in hardship a reason to smile this Christmas with a donation to the Dorset Echo Toy Appeal.

The Portland firm said the Echo's Christmas Toy Appeal is a cause that's close to their hearts. They have been donating to the appeal for many years to help buy presents for children who would otherwise be going without on Christmas day.

Now in its 20th year, every penny donated to the Toy Appeal is spent on presents for Dorset children.

Businesses support the appeal with a one-off donation of £100, and residents can also drop toys off at collection points at shops and businesses throughout the county.

Kelly Matthews, office manager at Albion Stone said: "At Albion we try to support as many local causes as possible, especially where children are concerned. Being a family run business the Toy Appeal is very close to our hearts.

"We hope this appeal is helping to relieve pressure for families who are experiencing financial difficulty.”

Albion Stone has been involved with the Portland Stone industry for over three quarters of a century. The company's factory is one of the largest and most technically advanced in the UK, producing a wide range of Portland stone products from slabs, cladding panels, pavers and tiles to the most intricate hand carved stones.

The company has switched its operations from quarrying to mining to make Portland stone an economical yet sustainable choice that compares favourably with many alternative construction materials.

Debbie Hellaby, Dorset Echo promotions manager, said: "Without the support of our readers and local businesses we would not be able to help put smiles on all those families' faces at Christmas, so a big 'thank you' in advance for your help."

Toys will be handed out by social workers just in time for Christmas. Many of the children are living in care homes or refuges, or from families facing poverty.

You can now donate to this year's Toy Appeal online at - or look out for toy collection points in shops across the county.

Businesses wishing to make a £100 donation should email