An appeal has been launched for people to send unused Christmas cards to lonely or vulnerable people in their neighbourhood after an increased number of calls to the police.

Avon and Somerset Police receive a high level of calls from people every Christmas who don’t need help from police but who have no-one else to speak to.

The force’s control room received more than 28,000 calls in a two-week period during the festive season last year.

These included calls from people who were lonely, anxious, vulnerable or frightened and who desperately needed comfort and reassurance.