KEIGHLEY people have rallied round to add sparkle to Christmas for children affected by serious crime.

Around 40 volunteers gathered at Airedale Enterprise Services (AES) in the town to wrap donated gifts which are heading to youngsters across the north.

AES is acting as a regional hub for the Dear Santa campaign, run by charity Embrace Child Victims of Crime.

Gifts are sent to children – nominated by the police and other agencies – who have been victims of, or witnessed, crimes including sexual abuse, domestic violence and neglect.

So far, more than 60 presents have been dispatched from the Keighley centre.

Tribute is paid to the community by Diane Watts, an Embrace victim care officer.

"We have been bowled over by the support shown," she said.

"Along with Airedale Enterprise Services agreeing to be a Dear Santa depot, we have had free wrapping paper donated by local shops.

"People have given-up their time to help us wrap these longed-for gifts for children in need, and we’ve had a number of Dear Santa gifts purchased too – but we still need more people and businesses to donate."

Wendy Spencer, chief executive of AES, said the enterprise agency was delighted to back the campaign.

She added: "After speaking to Diane and hearing all about Embrace and the wonderful work it does for child victims of crime, it was decided that as a business we would support it as our chosen charity and we offered to be the delivery location for the gifts and help us much as we can."

AES will also donate its Secret Santa money this year to buy gifts.

To support Dear Santa, visit or search for #DearSanta2018 on social media.