One of Northern Ireland's oldest charities aims to enable every child to play this Christmas

A reduction in the rate of inflation, from 11.1% to 10.7%, is welcome relief for many.

Households across the country, however, are still feeling under pressure due to high food and energy costs.

The financial strain facing many families means Christmas presents are a luxury they simply can't afford.

Craig Low is a single parent to tow young boys, aged 2 and 6.

"I'm not really worried about myself or other family members, I'm just concentrating on the kids now with the cost of living," he told UTV.

"Energy and electricity going up, that's where I'm finding it difficult, and the cost of food has really risen as well."

One of Northern Ireland's oldest charities, Belfast Central Mission, is hoping to ease that burden.

They've received thousands of toys from members of the public, all of which will be donated to families in need this Christmas.

"Although inflation is coming down, it's not going to bring the prices down," said Community Services Manager Janet Sewell.

"I think families are still going to struggle no matter what, so I think this is still going to make a big difference.

"The toys that we have received this year have been unbelievable, the people of Northern Ireland have really pulled out all the stops and have donated generous gifts and brilliant toys."

Once toys have been selected for children, they're taken to their new home by volunteers, like Jenny Bowden, the family support team lead at Shankill Sure Start.

"The families are so appreciative of receiving the support from BCM because they are struggling at the moment financially here," she said.

"Parents expectations that they heap on themselves is key there as well.

"For them to know we can take a wee bit of pressure off and help them provide the toys they need for Christmas is a relief for them."

Ron McFerran also volunteers to deliver gifts across Belfast.

"Everyone's getting it tight but the generosity of the people of Belfast is overwhelming.

"Everyone will put their own wee family first but they've went that wee bit extra by putting an extra gift in the trolley for other children to open on Christmas morning."

The gift of giving at Christmas, ensuring every child has a chance to play.

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