AN OTLEY-BASED appeal has delivered thousands of gifts to children in local hospitals and hospices.

More than 5,000 presents were donated to the 2017 Yorkshire's Children's Hospitals Christmas Gift Appeal.

Started and co-ordinated by Otley mum and fundraiser Mel Metcalfe, the appeal benefited this time from having a 'pop--up' gift donation shop in Otley, on Manor Square.

It was also backed, as always, by many local residents, schools and businesses along with a number of individuals who produced dozens of quilts, cuddly toys and other handmade goods.

Those were then dropped off at hospital wards and hospices across the region to be presented to children receiving who are receiving treatment over the Christmas period.

Mel, delighted with the level of support the appeal received, posted a message of gratitude on its Facebook page.

She said: "Once again our wonderful community has sent a special message to all the youngsters and their families receiving treatment this Christmas that the community around them care.

"It's down to every single one of you that helped in some way that this year's appeal has yet again been a huge success, with well over 5,000 gifts.

"That's right - you all put more than 5,000 smiles on little brave faces this Christmas, so I have a lot of thank yous to say.

"It really has taken huge community spirit to make this appeal work."

The hospitals visited this time included Leeds General Infirmary, St James' Hospital, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Hull Royal Infirmary, Airedale General Hospital, Harrogate District Hospital and Pinderfields General Hospital.

Sackfuls of presents were also delivered to several hospices including Martin House Children's Hospice, at Boston Spa, and Forget Me Not Children's Hospice in Huddersfield.

Mel added: "We have managed to visit many more across Yorkshire too and make sure no baby, child or teenager is left out.

"That's all thanks to each and every one of you that supported this year's appeal.

"I hope you are all proud of yourselves because right now I could not be any prouder of our community if I tried.

"Great work everyone and a Merry Christmas to you all."