YEAR 8 students from The Arnewood School in New Milton have collected hundreds of presents for disadvantaged children aboard.

They packed 69 boxes full of festive goodies for youngsters in Bosnia, Georgia, Romania and Moldova.

Teams4U, the charity running the scheme, will deliver the presents to orphanages where children have very little.

Before they were sent on their way the boxes were blessed by Rev Andrew Bailey, rector of New Milton’s St Mary Magdalene church, in the presence of Elizabeth Cook, the chair of governors.

Headteacher Nigel Pressnell said: “All our Year 8 tutor groups got involved and collected hundreds of gifts.

“The effort was overseen by head of year James Vibert and the students put in a lot of effort because they wanted the orphans to have a better Christmas than they otherwise would have had.

“The charity Teams4U will ensure the wrapped boxes will reach the orphanages in these poor countries.”

Teams4U was founded in 1996 by Dave Cook who recalled television pictures of Romanian children in orphanages in 1990.

He said: “I set up Teams4U because I wanted to give people that wanted to help the opportunity to give more than just money.”