Families across east London received essential items after ambulance staff and volunteers organised donations to foodbanks.

Around 30 collection boxes were hosted at London Ambulance Service (LAS) stations and control rooms across the capital.

Places where donations were delivered to included Romford, Rainham, Ilford, West Ham and Bow.

The initiative was set up by paramedic Nigel Flanagan and it is the second year he has organised the foodbank collections.

It follows an LAS scheme which started more than 12 years ago where staff and volunteers donated presents to children spending Christmas in hospital.

An LAS spokesperson confirmed this has not happened this year due to Covid measures.

Nigel, based in Croydon, said: “I still wanted to do something to help those in need over the festive period.

“Christmas can be a challenging time, especially for families who are experiencing financial difficulty.

"Everyone across London Ambulance Service has been so generous.

"It’s so rewarding to be able to help our local communities and spread some Christmas cheer, especially after a difficult 21 months.”