CARING employers across Darlington are becoming secret Santas in an initiative designed to bring a smile to a child’s face this Christmas.

As part of the Darlington Cares campaign, staff at Vauxhall and Chevrolet dealer, Sherwoods, are collecting gifts to send to 205 of the town’s children who are currently in care.

The campaign aims to collect as many presents as possible for disadvantaged children aged from just a few days old to three to make a difference to their Christmas.

Other organisations taking part in the appeal are The Student Loans Company, Darlington Borough Council, Cummins Engines, DeepOcean Group, Marchday and Teesside University.

Managing director of Sherwoods Alasdair MacConachie said: “Darlington Cares works all year round to improve the lot of people living in the borough but the Christmas appeal for children is particularly special.

“As a family firm with deep roots in the community I am delighted to support such a worthwhile event which will benefit looked-after children and make us all appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a great town.”

The Darlington Cares partnership seeks to make the borough a better place by encouraging employee volunteering for a range of community projects that will impact on the lives of local people.

The deadline for gifts, which should be suitable for the age group and include toys, books and activities, is December 10.

Presents should be wrapped and marked with two labels, the first including a Christmas greeting, the second a detachable label detailing contents.