CHILDREN in the eastern European country of Belarus will be having a happier Christmas thanks to the generosity of Malvern people.

An appeal for gift-filled shoe boxes achieved a record-breaking response when more than 300 were shipped off on Friday morning.

Local co-ordinator for Operation Christmas Child, Angela Green, said: “It’s absolutely brilliant that we’ve broke our record with 312.

“All the people who have done it for the first time have said they will do it next year.”

The shoe-boxes, containing items such as hats, gloves and scarves, soft toys, crayons, pens and notebooks, were blessed by retired vicar John Budd before being collected from Christchurch, in Avenue Road.

Mrs Green thanked Brays, in Worcester Road, for donating many of the empty boxes for the scheme.