THE long arm of the law will be extending its helping hand to the hungry this Christmas.

PSCO Andy Gunn has been working to fill Christmas hampers for the elderly and vulnerable.

Mr Gunn, who works in the Wantage East area, has joined forces with the Damascus youth group to ask workers at Milton Park near Didcot to bring in tins, cans and packets of food.

He said: “Hopefully with 7,000 workers here we’ll be able to collect a lot of non-perishable items.”

He has left seven bins around the site which workers can drop donations into at any time.

Damascus members will then collect all the donations and hopefully fill 100 boxes donated by Clearwater Hampers, also on Milton Park.

Mr Gunn, 25, who lives in Witney, said: “I just thought it would be a good idea to get the youth groups involved in giving something back.

“The police do it in Wantage West anyway, but this way we help the teenagers as well.

“We want to build bridges in the community and show that young people aren’t all bad and keep the community together.”

He added: “The kids have been great, they even dressed up the collection boxes.”

The hampers will be delivered to people in areas stretching from Ardington, near Wantage, to Blewbury near Didcot.

Milton Park spokesman Nancy Leadley said: “It is good to be involved with an initiative which will make a real difference this Christmas.

“This scheme makes donation very easy with the collection bins across the park serving as a daily reminder.

“We appreciate that charitable work is important to each and every one of the 7,000 workers at Milton Park and this project allows us to show our support for the local community.”

Damascus describes itself as the complete opposite of a youth club.

Rather than having club nights in a village hall, youth workers go out on the streets of villages and find their members. Youngsters are then invited to join activities helping the community and eventually put on events for their younger peers. The food drive is on until December 13.