York residents are among the most generous in the country, according to a new report.

Oxfam says the city has spent £462,427 on buying life-changing gifts for people in need around the world over the past eight years.

Among many other things, the charity said the money has paid for safe drinking water for thousands of people, fed families, trained teachers and educated children.

To mark the city’s generosity, Goodramgate’s Oxfam shop was turned into a giant Christmas present which was unwrapped in the presence Lord Mayor Coun David Horton and the Sheriff and Sheriff’s Lady were present.

Coun Horton said: “To know that York is one of the most generous cities in the whole of the UK is a wonderful early Christmas gift and I’m extremely proud that we have topped Oxfam’s poll.

“Actually it doesn’t surprise me, given what I know about our residents and businesses and how many hundreds of them are involved in supporting charities, whether as part of their local community effort , or as global citizens. But at a time of economic hardship it is even more humbling to know how committed we are as a city to helping others less fortunate than ourselves.”

York was eighth in Oxfam’s top ten of generous places. Top of the list was Oxford, Cambridge, Leamington Spa, Inverness, Reading, Norwich and Bristol. York is followed by Edinburgh and Nottingham.

Ralph Sayers, manager at Oxfam’s Goodramgate shop, said: “It’s wonderful to know that York is so behind our efforts to give people across the world the resources and skills to help their family and community overcome poverty.

“Christmas is the time of year to give and with Unwrapped you can be safe in the knowledge that every single penny counts.

“It’s inspiring to know that despite the UK’s own difficulties, people in York continue to put their hands in their pockets to support the global community.”