The Give a Gift project is a simple idea where people are asked to donate a present to a local child who is unlikely to receive a gift on Christmas morning.
A very large tree â?? kindly donated by the DIY centre in Corringham â?? will be the shop's centrepiece, and will be decorated by hundreds of stars. Each star represents a child and displays their age, gender and a name so presents can be personalised.
Portfolio Holder for Social Services, Cllr Sue Little says: "We ask people to come and visit the store, choose a star and purchase a present. The present can simply be returned to the shop where our volunteer elves will wrap and deliver it in time for Christmas."
"This year is undoubtedly going to bigger and better, intu Lakeside have kindly donated a large retail space in an extremely popular location which means more people are walking by and may choose to donate."
"he shop is located on the second floor at the House of Fraser end of the centre.
Cllr Little added: "Besides donating gifts, there are other things we need help with to make the project work â?? like wrapping paper and tape!
"We are also on the look-out for anybody who would like to donate some hours and help run the tree at Lakeside. If you have a few spare hours, please contact firstname.lastname@example.orgâ?
To find out about donating or volunteering to help out at the tree, go to thurrock.gov.uk/giveagift
To find out about fostering a Thurrock child, go to thurrock.gov.uk/fostering