Sussex

East Sussex young offenders pack presents for orphans

Children receiving presents in Ukraine
Image caption Presents for the children have been donated by local schools, churches and voluntary organisations

Young offenders in East Sussex are helping a charity to send presents to orphans in Bosnia and Ukraine.

Volunteers, including young offenders carrying out reparation work, are working with the Eastbourne-based Mustard Seed Relief Mission charity.

Christmas presents for the children aged between three and 15 have been donated by local schools, churches and voluntary organisations.

The young offenders are packing boxes of toiletries, clothes and toys.

'Positive relationships'

Councillor Sylvia Tidy from East Sussex County Council, said: "This scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for young people who have been in trouble in the past to do something really positive and rewarding.

"Some tell us they have never worked so hard but they really enjoy working alongside volunteers and are treated as part of the team.

"It helps them develop positive relationships and boosts their confidence and self-esteem."

She said the offenders were often shocked to discover there were some children who would otherwise not have received any presents at Christmas.

The boxes are packed with hats, scarves, toys and sweets before being driven in lorries by volunteers to the children.

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