Witches, wizard, skeletons, Harry Potter and even a slice of pizza were among the hundreds of Halloween costumes handed over to children thanks to Renfrewshire Toybank.

The organisation – which began in 2018 as a way to distribute Christmas gifts to children who would otherwise go without – went year-round in January and founder Lauren Roy-Sutherland knew Halloween would be a busy time.

In fact she and her hardworking team of volunteers handed out more than 600 costumes to social workers, health visitors, nurseries and community groups who all make sure they go to those who need them most.

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Mum-of-two Lauren said: “We’ve been doing Halloween for the first time this year and it’s been really busy.

“The way we did it is we had rails set up across Renfrewshire in certain places for people to go along and help themselves.

“We worked with social workers and health visitors the same way we do at Christmas, and they got us referrals. We had rails in places like the Star Project in Paisley, Renfrew YMCA, Klas Care and EBI Unites.

“We’ve given out over 600 costumes from babies right through to teenagers.”

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Lauren said Harry Potter was the most requested costume this year alongside the traditional witches and skeletons. But she also got some slices of pizza, hotdog and pumpkin outfits.

“We had a bank of costumes which we gave out then we got feedback from places to find out what they needed,” she added.

“Pals of the Privies told us they didn’t need any more boy costumes, they needed more for girls. It meant I wasn’t just buying random stuff, we could get the children what they wanted.

“It worked really well.

“We want to make it easy and accessible for people, regardless of their circumstances. We want to make sure the costumes reach the people who need it the most which is why we work with the partners we do.”

Lauren said thanks to the social workers, health visitors, nurseries and community groups they work with, they’ve got most of Renfrewshire covered.

And now with Halloween costumes delivered, they’re looking ahead to their popular Christmas appeal, which starts on November 1.

To find out more about Renfrewshire Toybank, go to https://www.facebook.com/renfrewshirechristmastoybank

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