A FAMILY who faced a bleak Christmas after money set aside to buy presents was stolen has been overwhelmed by the generosity of local people.

Last week the Gazette & Herald reported the plight of Amy Simpson, from Eastfield Road in Norton, whose savings to buy Christmas presents for her daughters, Sophia and Cerys, as well as gifts for their birthdays, which both fall in December, had been stolen.

However, following numerous offers of help, the family has been given £180 by the Malton and Norton Rotary Club to replace the money stolen, as well as a donation of toys from Minster FM's annual toy appeal.

Malton and Norton Lions have also stepped in with a donation towards birthday gifts for Cerys who is four tomorrow (Thursday) and Sophia who was six last week.

Tony Kingston, from the Rotary Club said they had been more than happy to help out.

"As a club we respond to people's needs and we could see that this would have quite a significant and adverse affect on the family, particularly at this time of year," he added.

"Children look forward to this time of year and we didn't want them to feel their Christmas would not be as good as others."

Amy said she would like to thank the Gazette & Herald along with the Lions, Rotary and Minster FM.

"Everyone has been brilliant," she added.

"I would like to thank every one so much for their help it has been invaluable and means we can look forward to Christmas again."

Gazette editor Jo Kelly said it was touching that so many readers had offered their support to Amy and her family.

"We would like to thank everyone who got in touch along with the Rotary, Lions and Minster FM," she added.

"To all those who offered help and feel they would like to support other families in Ryedale this Christmas, the Snowflake Appeal, organised by Home-Start Ryedale, in Norton, would more than welcome your donations to help disadvantaged children in the area"

For more information, or to make a donation, contact Ruth Heron at Home-Start Ryedale, 43 Parliament Street, Norton, YO17 9HE, phone 01653 693551 or email HSRyedale@googlemail.com