Toys for Madeleine go to Belarus

Toys and flowers in Rothley

Thousands of toys and dolls were left in Rothley

Friends and family of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann are sending 2,000 toys left by well-wishers to children in eastern Europe.

The toys were left at the war memorial in Rothley, Leicestershire, in the weeks after she went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in early May.

The gifts were removed over the summer along with thousands of ribbons tied to railings in the McCanns' home village.

The toys are now set to be shipped to children in Belarus.

?1m fund

The gifts were cleaned by parents from the village's two primary schools.

Janet Kennedy, Madeleine's great-aunt, will be among a handful of people packing the toys into shoeboxes. Each will be sent with a small picture of Madeleine.

Friends of Madeleine's family also urged holidaymakers to continue the search for Madeleine.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, said: "Clearly, the search for Madeleine will continue and I would appeal for everyone to refocus their efforts to achieve her safe return."

Individuals and organisations have so far given just over ?1m to Madeleine's Fund, a non-charitable not-for-profit company.

Portuguese police made Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, formal suspects in the inquiry into their child's disappearance earlier this month.

The couple insist she was abducted while they ate at a nearby tapas bar with friends.