RECORD breaking Stourbridge students have made sure that more than 100 children in need will not go empty handed this Christmas.

Pedmore Technology College have been collecting shoeboxes filled with gifts and goodies to send out to disadvantaged youngsters as part of the Operation Christmas Child campaign.

Led by budding entrepreneur and year 9 student Louis Gaskin, who took responsibility for coordinating the collection throughout the school, pupils broke the school record, collecting 137 boxes and beating last year’s total by 57.

Kate Hunter, business enterprise teacher, said: “The event is usually managed by the GCSE business enterprise students, but this year we seized the opportunity to give Louis a real challenge.

“He performed so well in last year's ‘Tycoons in School’ competition I wanted to give him a totally different experience and challenge with a focus on a service rather than creating and selling a product.

“Louis was meticulous in his coordination of the tasks in hand and delegated roles to a team of helpers.

“He set about launching a campaign with assemblies to promote the cause and creating a competitive edge to get everybody in school and the community on board.

“It was so pleasing to see Louis’ confidence grow and how accepting other students in the school are of his leadership skills.”

Louis, who has a growing textiles enterprise, has gained valuable experience of working and managing a small team, as well as fundraising with his lead on the Operation Christmas Child project, which Mrs Hunter hopes will help him with his future career aspirations.

Mrs Hunter added: “He was so successful this year and he’s already planning ahead for next year, which I am certain will be even bigger and better.”