ESSEX Police are once again looking to make Christmas brighter for vulnerable and less fortunate children across the Braintree district.

Officers are collecting gifts as part of their annual appeal to bring joy to vulnerable children for the holidays who may otherwise receive little or nothing.

Last year, the force received more than 9,000 presents.

A spokesman said: “People of Braintree district, we need your help again.

“We’re appealing to our communities to help us to brighten Christmas for vulnerable and less fortunate children who may otherwise receive little or nothing.

“If you are able to donate a small gift, we’ll pass it on. We're working with our partners to identify children who will benefit the most.

“We will be collecting gifts up until December 20, our volunteers will then get busy collecting and delivering in time for the big day.

“Here in Braintree, Witham, Halstead and the Hedinghams we are working with The Salvation Army and Braintree Council.”

Gifts can be dropped off at the police station in Blythe's Meadow CM7 3DJ, at the back of Sainsbury’s car park, any time between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week.

Unfortunately, the force cannot accept second-hand presents and all donations must be unwrapped.

For those unable to make it to the police station in person, there is an Amazon Wishlist at