A MOTHER of two, with the help of her work colleagues, is on a mission to help make Christmas better for families in crisis.

Laci Wilson, a supervisor at Chalkhill Blue, has set up a 'donation station' at the pub in Hawker Siddeley Way where customers and residents can bring in gifts for those who are being helped by the Andover Crisis and Support Centre this festive period.

Within two days of launching the appeal Laci and the team had already received two pledges from businesses, Justin Randall from Trust Construction will donate around £500 and an anonymous company has donated £300 – both funds will be spent on buying toys.

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Andover Advertiser: Tracy Wiles and Laci Wilson at the donation station at the Chalkhill BlueLaci said: “I’m a single parent myself, with one with autism, and I know what it’s like at Christmas to struggle. I’m lucky to have a roof over my head, but it makes me think that there is always someone worse off than me.

“I knew I wanted to do something good this Christmas and I thought of the local crisis centre. I contacted them about receiving some donations and they were ecstatic with that.”

Laci asked her manager whether she could set up a donation area in the restaurant and the 37-year-old said it had “taken off”.

The 'donation station' is a Christmas tree, which will soon have a sign on it showing people where they can leave their gifts for the crisis centre. A wrapping station has also been set up so people don’t have to wrap their donations.

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“I thoroughly believe that anything can help these families, I know that worry of ‘I am going to be able to afford everything’. This is about giving, I want to make a difference to so many people this year,” Laci said.

“I want to give something back. The local crisis centre does so much for families in need.”

Laci said that she is also contacting schools in Andover in the hope that they will be able to help out, with other mothers she knows already offering to donate to the appeal.

Anyone who wishes to support the appeal can donate toys and cuddly bears, along with gifts for adults including fluffy socks, slippers or a bath/deodorant set – anything that will help families in need this Christmas. There is no set list of what people can donate.

The appeal comes to a close on Sunday, December 17 and donations will then be presented to the crisis centre.