BEDS, food and toys have all been donated to animals living in rescue this Christmas or with poor families.

The festive giveaway came after animal lover Gill Lewis, from Ipswich Road, Brantham, put out an appeal on Facebook.

She asked residents around the Manningtree area to give what they could to animals in need.

On Sunday, towels, bedding, newspapers, cat and dog food as well as toys and food and bedding for small animals were all handed over to rescue centres.

Gill, a former kennel owner who fosters and rescues dogs, said: "It went really really well.

"They were all really grateful.

"We have had some lovely donations from people and I think this will really help them a lot."

Items were given to rescues including See Saw, Paws and Mittens, Last Hope dog rescue and Mistley Place Park.

Other donations have gone to the Manningtree Foodbank and Colchester Rough Sleepers.

Gill added: "We are supporting Colchester Rough sleepers, they are doing a mobile shelter in an old bus so people with dogs can go in.

"They won't go to the night shelter as their dogs aren't allowed.

"We have provided them with beds and food, toys and dog coats.

"We have also donated to the foodbank for people that are struggling that have pets."

Gill thanked all those who donated, especially Michele Harker who knitted 30 blankets.

The idea is to make the donations regularly through the year.

Gill added: "We have been able to help a whole range of rescues.

"We have lots of pets that need lots of bedding at this time of year.

"It's lovely everyone has been generous at Christmas but lots were saying if there was something we could do to keep this going.

"So the shed I used to keep everything in we will use as a collection point, donations throughout the year will be the next step.

"It's getting people to think about donating things like old towels and bedding and newspaper throughout the year."

To help or donate items, find the Manningtree, Lawford and Brantham Animal Antics page on Facebook.