BIG-hearted staff at a Halesowen nursery are making sure underprivileged children in the Black Country have a brighter Christmas this year.

Employees from Halesowen Day Nursery, Hagley Road, decided to forgo their traditional ‘Secret Santa’ and donate the cash they would have spent buying toys for under fives supported by Barnardo’s.

Children from the nursery helped deliver the toys to Barnardo’s office in Halesowen, where they met regional director Hugh Sherriffe.

Nursery boss Heidi Howell said: “Instead of spending money buying each other’s Secret Santa presents, staff decided they wanted to do something to help local children who may not be as fortunate as others this Christmas.”

The toys will go to children supported by Barnardo’s in the Black Country.

Mr Sherriffe said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed. I have no doubt the toys will help bring a smile to the faces of local children this Christmas.

“Poverty is a major threat to the wellbeing of children and families in the UK today. In the UK there are 2.3 million children living in poverty and more than half a million children live in families cannot afford a daily healthy nutritious meal.

“Here at Barnardo’s we transform the lives of children and families by providing direct support and helping them break the cycle of poverty.”

Donations can be made at to help a child in crisis this Christmas.