DEPRIVED youngsters in Romania and Kosovo have a 90-year-old North Yorkshire woman to thank for their new toys.

Alice Barton, of Ashdale Road, Helmsley, makes teddy bears which are sent through Helmsley's Family Circle, an interdenominational church group, to the children.

She also makes the teddies to sell on stalls at coffee mornings and other charity events held in the town.

"I started knitting them a year ago" said Mrs Barton.

"I find I can happily knit away while watching television".

Mrs Barton has lived in Helmsley nearly all her life, but worked in Leeds where she learned the art of confectionery and cake icing.

After she married she moved to Helmsley where her late husband was manager of Atkinson's grocery store.

Updated: 09:37 Wednesday, May 21, 2003