The Bolton community have been thanked for their generosity after a single mum's Christmas was ruined by arsonists.
Mum of three, Emma Almond, 27 from Bolton received a call from her family in the early hours of Thursday 21 December to tell her the news that her home at Rawsthorne Street in Bolton had been set alight on Wednesday 20 December. She had been visiting family in York at the time.
Arsonists had broken into the house, stolen presents from under the tree before moving a sofa to barricade the door and setting it alight.
Moved by their situation the Bolton East Neighbourhood Policing Team took to their Facebook page, which is liked by more than 1,000 people to appeal to the Bolton community to bring back Christmas for the family.
Sergeant Martin Lally said: “To have been victim of such a horrible situation is terrible at any time of the year but it’s particularly terrible at Christmas time which is why it is fantastic to see the family so happy as a result of what the people of Bolton have done for them.
“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support of the local businesses and the people who have made Christmas for this family.”
Gifts that have been donated include a Paddington Bear, flat screen TV, Playstation 3, Moses basket, a new cot and stockings filled with gifts.
Emma said: “I was devastated to hear what had happened. I had only been away for one night to see family and to hear that someone could do this is heartbreaking.
“I had only moved the girls and my baby into the house in November and it was going to be my first home with the girls. This was going to be our first Christmas together in the house and I am just so grateful that we weren’t there it is just such a devastating thing to happen.
“When I heard what the community had done I couldn't stop crying I was so overwhelmed. My family have been around me and have been crying as well.
“I would just like to say to everyone the police, business's and people thank you and thank you for making Christmas for my girls.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.