A CHRISTMAS appeal which urged well-wishers to donate toys to kids in need has resulted in more than 5,000 items being collected by a town centre barber shop ahead of the big day.

The Barnsley Christmas Toy Appeal, launched three years ago by Tony Batty and Liam Hardcastle, hopes to make a child’s Christmas as special as possible by sending them toys so they have something to open on Christmas Day morning.

The cost-of-living crisis has had a huge impact on families across Barnsley, with many facing the tough decision of whether to heat their homes or put food on the table.

Tony, of Tony’s Barbers on Racecommon Road, told the Chronicle: “This appeal is definitely the biggest one yet - we’ve never received as many toys as we have this time around.

“It’s been really emotional as it’s heartbreaking to see so many families struggling and being forced to choose between heating their homes or feeding their kids.”

Yesterday, Tony went and hand-delivered sacks of toys to a number of children at Barnsley Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Weston Park Cancer Charity.

He added: “It’s nice knowing you’re giving something back - this is the least we can do really.

“No child deserves to be without toys at Christmas but equally, no parent deserves to chose between heating or eating.

“More than 5,000 toys, in the current climate, shows how brilliant the community spirit is in Barnsley.

“We are really grateful to everyone who’s supported us and made a donation.”