A GLASWEGIAN living in Azerbaijan was one of hundreds of people who donated to an annual Christmas toy appeal – after reading an article in the Evening Times.

Staff at The Community and Beyond Toy Bank were able to help 360 families at Christmas this year thanks to generous donations from members of the public and businesses.

Last year, the collection helped around 147 families and this year the figure has doubled.

We previously reported that John Beattie, from Govan, started the collection three years ago and each year the donations received at the toy bank have got bigger.

This enables John and his team of volunteers to be able to give a full bag of toys to cash-strapped families who are struggling over Christmas.

One of the kind donations even came from as far as Azerbaijan as Govan expat Ewen Bickerton gave to the cause after reading a story the Evening Times published back in November.

In a letter to the toy bank, he said: “It saddened me to read of families suffering hardship throughout the festive period.”

Another donation came from a schoolgirl who asked Santa for a present to help the little boys and girls that don’t have anything.

John said: “It means the world to be able to help these families. We have received so many messages from the families who were crying because of what they received.”

He added: “The coverage and exposure that was given in The Evening Times opened the floodgates.

“It makes the world of difference, as the fact that you have promoted the community toy bank in the paper has contributed to the success of it.”

The toy bank was started after PHD student John recognised that there was a need to help families over Christmas. He had been collecting for city food banks and spotted there was no provision for Christmas.

Families are referred to the toy bank by social workers, foodbanks and the charity Children 1st.

The toy bank is based at The Riverside Hall and John has said he hopes to bring the collection back in 2018.

For more information. visit www.facebook.com/communitytoybank