Winchester schools have been providing a record number of Christmas gift boxes for children overseas.

Both Henry Beaufort secondary and St Bede primary have beaten their records in the number of boxes for the Rotary Club shoebox scheme.

Robert Parsons, director of Winchester Rotary, said Henry Beaufort had given 290 and there were 170 from St Bede: “They have both done terrifically well. Across Winchester schools we will collect 700 boxes which is another record for us.”

Across Hampshire some 25,000 boxes are due to be donated and sent on to poor children in Tanzania, the Phillipines, Moldova, Albania and Montenegro.

Some 99 per cent of the contents of the boxes is new and each box is made up by a pupil and their families.

Briony Adams, teacher at Henry Beaufort who coordinated the project, said: “I’m incredibly proud of their generosity. It shows that even in this economic downturn the children are still being very generous with their pocket money. They have worked hard in groups to organise things.”