Volunteer Police Cadets in Thurrock are set to give up their free time to help ensure disadvantaged children have a present this Christmas.

Around 10 cadets, including Sgt Lee Stannard and Pc Neil Brand, will be helping out at the Give a Gift shop on Sunday December 10 at intu Lakeside.

The Give a Gift project, run by Thurrock Council, is a simple idea where people are asked to donate a present to a local child who is unlikely to receive a gift on Christmas morning.

The shop, hosted by intu Lakeside, is located on the second floor of the shopping centre next to McDonalds at the House of Fraser end.

A large Christmas tree donated by ‘Your DIY Centre’ in Corringham is the shop’s centrepiece and is decorated by hundreds of stars.

Each star represents a child and displays their age, gender and a name so presents can be personalised.

Sgt Lee Stannard said: “This a fantastic local initiative and we are delighted to be involved. Christmas can be difficult time of the year for many children and no child should go without a present.

“On the day our cadets will be helping to run the shop, collecting presents and talking to people about the project. If you are visiting intu Lakeside, please do come along and say hello!”

To find out about donating or volunteering to help out at the tree please visit: thurrock.gov.uk/giveagift