YOUNGSTERS from across Bury have given the 'gift of play' to vulnerable children overseas this Christmas thanks to their musical talent.

28 children aged between five and 16 raised money for the development charity CAFOD with a special seasonal concert held at Bury Parish Church, on December 17.

The concert featured a variety of music from Christmas carols to classical pieces performed by the pianists, cellist and violinists, including the events youngest performers five-year-old Daniela who played 'The Bear Dance', and six-year-old Jan who played Mollenhauer's 'Infant Paganini'.

Anna Korzeniewska-Kojder, a music teacher and the event organiser, said: "It has been wonderful to see what started as a cosy, yearly gather-round for my students grow into something with a greater purpose.

"I am very proud of all my pupils who played so well at the concert, and thankful for the great generosity of the public, who raised more than £300."

Originally held in previous years in Ms Korzeniewska-Kojder's home, the performance has grown to become and annual community moving to Bury Parish Church two years ago.

Now in its second year the event fundraised enough to buy 12 Gifts of Play, providing vulnerable children worldwide, who might otherwise fall into the clutches of violent gangs with a vital, with a creative outlet.

The presents come from CAFOD's World Gifts scheme, enabling people to help communities around the world by buying alternative, virtual gifts for loved ones, which has raised over £12million since its inception, enabling the charity to provide 104,000 school starter kits, 57,000 goats and 40,000 chickens.

CAFOD’s local representative in Bury, Ann Wilson, praised the musicians as a "talented bunch of young people."

She said: "Their fundraising is so worthwhile and by buying the Gift of Play they have provided other children living overseas with music and dance classes.

"But, more than that, they’ve provided them with a safe space to relax, make friends, learn something new and have fun.

"We hope others in Bury will join the children in considering World Gifts whilst doing their shopping this year."