STRICTLY star Gemma Atkinson has stepped forward to show her support for an animal shelter's Christmas appeal.

The former Hollyoaks star turned radio presenter launched Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary's Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

People are being asked to fill shoeboxes with treats and essentials for the many animals being cared for at the Edenfield animal sanctuary.

Gemma said: "It’s our yearly shoebox appeal at our sanctuary and it means all the animals will have special treats at Christmas, and they will be the happiest animals around.

"Any dog or cat toys, or food - Schmackos are a favourite - blankets, anything you can will help all out animals here at Christmas, thank you."

Gemma added: “I love coming to Bleakholt and seeing all the animals, those who live out their lives here and those who are looking for new homes.

“They are so well looked after all year round but it’s lovely to give them something extra special at Christmas.

“The Shoebox Appeal means they have extra treats over Christmas - and they do love them.”

Bleakholt, which was formed in 1957, is a temporary home to over 350 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, donkeys, mules, goats and more who the sanctuary looks to re-home.

The sanctuary has also revealed the names of its 12 Animals of Christmas list, who are all in need of a new home this year, available for a £30 sponsorship.

On the animals on this year’s list include Tina, the turkey for Day One, Grumple the Goat for Day Two, Zeeke the lurcher for Day Three, Jelly Tot, Jelly Bean and Bon Bon the rabbits for Day Four, Tim the cat for Day Five, and Reggie the Chihuahua for Day Six.

Other names on the list are Kizzy the cat, Dexter the Shar Pei-Labrador for Day Eight, Marlie the Shar Pei-Akita cross for Day for Day Nine, Lukey the ginger cat, for Day Ten, Logan and Angel the huskies for Day 11 and last but not least, Boris the Guinea Pig for Day 12.

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