FATHER Christmas is pleased as punch after a Malvern businesswoman donated 200 surprise gifts for him to send with his replies to letters posted in the special festive post box in Malvern.

The jolly old man popped over from the North Pole to collect the gifts from Josephine Murray, director of online children’s shop Rain Starts Play, at the Tourist Information Centre, Church Street.

He will send the surprise gifts, plus personal replies to children who send him a letter via the special Victorian post box at the TIC using a special £1 stamp.

Proceeds are being donated to Acorns Children’s Hospice to help life-limited children in the county.

Ms Murray, whose webshop rainstartsplay.com sells ethically-made children’s clothes, toys and nursery furnishings, said: “I thought it would be lovely to give Malvern children an extra treat, and help Acorns at the same time.

“I won’t say what the gifts are – that would spoil the surprise. But I will say that they’re handmade and are great fun for stories, rhymes and songs.”

The last date to use the festive postbox is Friday, December 14. For more information about the postbox, call the tourist information centre on 01684 892289.