YOUNGSTERS penned notes to refugee children during a special event at a Parkstone church.

More than 70 children visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints in Mount Road on Saturday to help pack bags for newly-arrived refugees.

Moira Head of the church said: "We have raised money to buy educational items that will be packed up and given to children on their arrival in the UK.

"The children are collecting different educational things for the bags, and we've asked everyone here to bring a present of their own to add to the bags."

Over the course of the day, youngsters packed up pens and paper, books on maths and handwriting, flashcards on phonics and English for beginners and tennis balls into 130 bags.

A further 25 rucksacks for older children were also packed.

These will then be distributed through charities working with refugees in the UK.

Moira said the event, No More Strangers, was held as part of Interfaith Week.

"We asked the children to bring their own gifts because it helps them to understand the concepts of giving and sacrifice," she said.

"We've also got a table of gifts here for those who forgot to bring their own.

"There are children of different faiths here working and playing very happily."

After putting together the bags, children designed and wrote cards to be given to refugees.

Jack, six, wrote: "You will be ok."

Laura, ten, drew a picture of a heart on the front of her card before adding the words: "Don't be afraid, you will be happy."

Jayne Kyprianou of the church said: "It's been amazing.

"We have more than 70 children here today. We asked them to bring gifts because it's so important for everyone to appreciate what they have.

"Some of these bags will be given to little ones who have arrived here with family members - others will be given to unaccompanied children.

"We tried to reach out to people of different faiths today and I think that's been very successful.

"We wanted to show that people do care and that it doesn't matter what faith or race you are.

"There are a lot of good things happening in the world.

"It's a joy to see these children here making life better for others."