Some of the region’s most deserving causes will have a Christmas to remember thanks to kind-hearted water workers.
Picture of Northumbrian Water workers Jane Morland (left) and Jane Dunn (right) handing over a huge haul of Christmas presents to Sylvia Copley of Children North East (centre).
Northumbrian Water employees have spent the last few weeks fundraising for charities close to their hearts and buying gifts for families who are struggling during the festive season.
A pile of presents worth more than £500 has been delivered to Children North East, the region’s oldest children’s charity, to be distributed amongst local children whose families cannot afford to buy gifts this Christmas.
The water company rewarded employee efforts by donating £250 towards the collection.
Seventy local pensioners have been treated to a Christmas lunch and entertainment at the utility’s restaurant at Pity Me, Durham, thanks to customer team leader Olwyn Swan and colleagues who raised £900 during the year from raffles and casual days.
Other local charities that will benefit include Gateshead-based cancer charity FACT (Fighting all Cancers Together) and the Stroke Association which will receive cash donations and gift hampers for families this Christmas. Animal food and donations will be given to Stray Action for Dogs in Coxhoe and Langley Moor, Durham, and Weardale Cat Shelter.
Jane Morland, corporate responsibility team leader, who helped co-ordinate the fundraising drive and handed over the Christmas presents to Children North East on behalf of Northumbrian Water, said: “Christmas is a time of year where many of us expect presents and take them for granted but it is also a worrying time for families who are struggling to make ends meet.
“As a company that serves the entire North East we felt it was important to use our community links to support those, especially children, who aren’t as fortunate as us this Christmas.”
Sylvia Copley, who accepted the gifts on behalf of Children North East, said: “With over 132,000 children in the North East living below the official poverty line many families will struggle to provide even the basic needs over the Christmas period. Many may even have to choose between heating or eating and the extra expense of buying gifts and toys is sometimes impossible for them.
“The Children North East Christmas Appeal ‘The Giving Tree’ has been running for many years with reference to the giving of toys and food at Christmas time going back to 1897. The appeal has grown in volume as needs have changed and we have seen a huge increase recently in families turning to Children North East for support.
“The Northumbrian Water donation will make such a difference to local children this Christmas and we can’t thank them enough for their fantastic support. Children North East is the region′s oldest independent children’s charity – the regions very own children’s charity - with all funds raised in the region, staying in the region.”
Northumbrian Water has supported more than 1,200 good causes this year in its supply area through fundraising, gifts of bottled tap water and raffle prizes, and via its employee volunteering scheme, Just an hour.
For more information contact Leanne Clough on 0191 301 6733.