A LOCAL charity supporting poor children in Romania says it has been "overwhelmed" with the support from the community this year.

Heart Response said it wanted to thank all those who contributed to the charity's Christmas present appeal.

More than 100 bags of presents were collected and sent to youngsters in north west Romania, bringing a smile to their faces this Christmas.

The appeal for items such as toys, stationery, hats, scarves and gloves was launched in early November and supported by schools and churches, along with many local people.

Dorchester Tourist Information Centre was the main collection point for donations, along with Bradpole and Broadmayne Post Offices.

Charity chairman Tish Robberts said she was extremely grateful to all those involved in the appeal.

She said: "It's been amazing to see the response to this appeal, we’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of donations and can’t thank people enough.

"The presents have been sent to children who are from extremely poor families, living in basic houses many with no running water or electricity.

"These children would not have received any presents for Christmas if it wasn’t for this appeal and the generosity of so many people in and around Dorchester.” Tish is the founder of the small local charity, which she established almost four years ago after volunteering for a church in a deprived area of Romania.

She said: "I just felt I couldn't go home and not do something about what I'd seen and experienced, so I set up the charity to show continued support.

"We have so much in our country, especially at Christmas, whereas the adults and children I was helping in Romania sometimes had no idea where their next meal was coming from."

Heart Response supports many different projects including an orphanage and feeding programmes for up to 500 poor children. For more information about the charity and to get involved with future appeals please visit heart-response.org.uk