KIND-hearted pupils at a Kidderminster school have been busy raising money for orphans in Zambia – with a little help from Santa.

Youngsters at St John’s CE Primary are hoping to put a broken down car back on the road so it can be used to transport water to the Ikelenge Orphanage.

The car is a lifeline for the children, who are relying on members of the community to bring water daily from a river several miles away.

It is also their only means of travelling to hospital, a two-day drive away, so children needing medical help are unable to receive any.

Following the school’s current theme of generosity, the usual spending on festive gifts for the St John’s pupils by the PTA has been shelved and instead both the PTA and children are donating money to the car appeal.

The PTA also secured a visit from Santa who spent a day in a specially made grotto where pupils made a donation in return for the chance to meet him and receive a gift and souvenir photo.

Some of the proceeds from the Santa fund-raiser will go towards the car repairs, boosting the £400 already given by the PTA.

And yesterday (Wednesday) year six pupils Matthew Hatfield, Kian Burkin and Ethan Hanson, organised a fund-raising day with stalls including a chocolate tombola, toy raffle and penalty shoot-out.

Teacher Hayley Watts said: “These boys have worked really hard and made me incredibly proud.

“I’m so grateful too for the generosity of the rest of the school and the PTA. The car repairs will cost £2,000, but they will be very grateful for however much we raise.”

The car broke down while Miss Watts and governor Kelly Yapp were visiting in May to deliver a phonics programme at the orphanage school to help the children in their reading of English.

Joyce and Bernard Blendell, from Ikelenge will be returning the visit in the new year.