TWO friends from Pontypool are helping to spread Christmas joy this year as they are collecting gifts to hand out to homeless people in Torfaen.

Lydia Davies, from Pontnewynydd, and Zoe Morgan, from Trevethin, started the ‘Christmas sacks for the homeless’ project to help those in need over the holidays.

The pair are donating gifts including toiletries, bottled water, non-perishable food, and warm winter clothing, such as hats and scarves.

Miss Davies came up with the idea of doing a collection, but said she was only able to go forward with it once Mrs Morgan was on board.

She said: “It’s something that I have wanted to do for a few years now. I wasn’t able to do it by myself, so I put a post on Facebook to see if anyone could help.

“Zoe replied offering to help and got involved that way.

“We want to help people locally. There are charities that help the homeless in Cardiff and in Newport but there is nothing in Pontypool.

“I wanted to do it as I feel sorry for them. They are out in the cold all alone and are left with nothing.”

The pair will be giving out the gifts in Pontypool and then Cwmbran, with any leftover donations being donated to Women’s Aid and MIND.

Miss Davies said that although the project has been a challenge, the pair had managed to exceed their target.

She said: “It’s been a challenge, but one we have really enjoyed.

“Initially we thought we’d manage to fill up two sacks. But between us we’ve got 20 sacks full of gifts already.”

Mrs Morgan said that she decided to get involved as she wanted to help those in need.

She said: “I've known Lydia for quite some time and I saw her Facebook status saying she's been donated some Christmas sacks and was single-handedly going to do her best to help a few local homeless people.

“I like to think that we are not doing anything special just two local ladies doing what any decent person would do. We just want to help.

“Lydia and I have worked hard and purchased items ourselves, but we also had some amazing support from a few local residents with some fantastic donations.

“I think they also deserve a great big thank you too for helping to support us.”

To donate, or for more information on the project, search for ‘Christmas sacks for the homeless’ on Facebook, and message either Lydia or Zoe.