A PRIMARY school in Swindon has filled dozens of shoeboxes for deprived children across the world to give them a Christmas they will never forget.

More than 80 shoeboxes were put together by Greenmeadow Primary School as part of the ‘Operation Christmas Child’ campaign run by Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse.

Since 1990, more than 146 million children in 150 countries across the world have received the little boxes full of what they would consider luxuries.

Teddy bears, sweets, warm socks, toys, felt tips, crayons and even jewellery were neatly packed in the piles of boxes waiting to be shipped abroad.

Many also contained toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as soap and flannels.

Angela Webster, who has been helping the children get their boxes organised, said: “A lot of people in these countries don’t have furniture, so they can actually use the box.

“I told the children things like toothbrushes and toothpaste are a luxury for some of the children – and that shocked them.

“They often put a letter in as well as a photo of themselves, and some include a £5 donation to go towards transporting the box.

“It’s personal and understandable for children knowing the box is going to another child like them.

“They understand this is all the children will have for Christmas – things they take for granted that someone in another part of the world would not.”

Led by children involved in the school council, Greenmeadow has been working on their shoeboxes since May.

Wrapped in festive Christmas paper, each shoebox has a sticker on it to indicate whether the contents is for a boy or a girl aged 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.

Daisy, Sian, Aba and Ryann, all 9 years old, made shoeboxes for girls and tucked handwritten letters inside for the recipient to read.

“I wrote Christmas wishes in mine,” said Ryann, who made her box for a little girl aged between two and four.

“I put how old I was and best wishes,” said Aba.

Some pupils stuck barcodes on their boxes so they can track their journey online and see where they end up.

The shoeboxes will be collected from the school on Monday (Nov 6) before they begin their long journey abroad.

For more information about Operation Christmas Child visit https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/