WINCHESTER’S Christmas shoebox appeal has collected gifts from six local schools to be distributed around the Europe.

Winchester Rotary collected Christmas shoeboxes full of gifts for disadvantaged children in Albania, Moldova, Montenegro and Romania.

The local schools which took part were St Bede’s, Compton All Saints, St Faith’s CE, Western and Weeke primary schools and Henry Beaufort.

Winchester Rotary’s contribution to the appeal was six cartons filled with over 200 jumpers, hats, mittens and blankets knitted by ladies from Alresford Lace Makers, Four Marks WI and Kings Somborne Fete Committee and their friends, coordinated by Hilary Dunwoody.

Winchester Rotary coordinator, Colin Cook said: “Together with the boxes from the schools, boxes have also been donated by Winchester Rotarians, members of The Inner Wheel Club of Winchester and other friends of Rotary.

“We are grateful too for the generous support has again been provided by Warrens Stationers with stationery items for the boxes.”

Winchester Rotary members checked and sorted the boxes ready for despatch to the Rotary regional depot in Christchurch - over 20,000 boxes are expected to be received there from 50 Rotary clubs across the region. The Winchester boxes were delivered to the depot on November 6.