SHOEBOXES filled with gifts for those in need have been blessed before being sent to Eastern Europe.

Individuals, knitting groups, community groups, traders and churches have all been donating toys, knitted items, toiletries, stationery, balls and sweets for needy children and the 570 boxes will soon be sent to Eastern Europe following a blessing service held at Upton Baptist Church last Sunday.

The boxes will be sent to Teams4u volunteers to be distributed at Christmas.

Project co-ordinator Barrie Burch said: "We would like to thank all those who have, in any way, helped to enable us to send record number of over 570 boxes across the globe.

"The boxes are sent with God's love and we believe that this shows a child that someone cares and that someone has done this for them.

"Our aim is to show God's love and to try to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves."