A pub in Bolton is helping to ensure the very youngest enjoy some festive cheer this Christmas.

The Mosley Arms is collecting gifts to distribute to children as for many Bolton youngsters, the painful reality of poverty means they may not receive a single present.

The Breightmet pub is taking part in the ‘Giftmas tree’ – organised by brewery Joseph Holt.

And the Mosley Arms has already dispatched 150 presents via Bolton Council`s Play and Youth Services, to local children in need, with more gifts still coming in.

Pub manager Bernadette Bates said: “People have been so generous.

“We`ve had everything from Lego and headphones to teddy bears and games.

“It`s a real mix, but really reflects the kindness of our customers.”

Instead of adorning their pub Christmas tree with traditional decorations, the pub is hanging tags on the branches, marked with an unnamed child`s age and gender.

Customers are then invited to take a tag and replace it with a gift appropriate for that youngster.

The presents are then donated through relevant child services.

Pub landlords Suzanne Tingle and Paul Spink - who run the Half Way House in Blackpool – came up with the idea for a Giftmas Tree initiative.

Suzanne said: “Sadly, there are children who won`t otherwise be getting gifts this year.

“So, we came up with this idea to make sure at least some kids don`t miss out.

“In fact, we first did this four years ago - before Covid – and, not surprisingly, our amazingly generous customers responded immediately.

“What`s more even if all the tags are taken – on our tree there are 130 – customers can, as they have done before, still leave a gift.”

It comes as figures show that there are 4.2million children in poverty in the UK.

Previous research has found that one in five children may not get a Christmas present this year.

Paul Longmire, marketing manager at Joseph Holt, said: “The Giftmas tree is a wonderful example of how our pubs really are at the heart of the communities they serve.

“From first being suggested by the Half Way House to other pubs following suit, the scheme means that lots of children who might otherwise have gone without presents this Christmas will have something to look forward to.”

The majority of pubs under the brewery will be taking part.

For more information check individual Facebook pages for Joseph Holt pubs.