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Families enjoy a weekend of events and activities in the North East

The region was determined to enjoy itself at the weekend with a series of special events

This year's Sunderland Festival returned to Herrington Country Park on both days of the weekend.

Chris Alexander, chief operating officer at Sunderland Live, said: “This is a big event in the city’s calendar and all the team have worked hard to make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy over the weekend.”

Events included free sporting activities including hula -hooping and mini stilts while five-a-side and tug of war were also provided.

And in Newcastle, hundreds of runners took part in the first CHUF Heart and Sole Run yesterday in aid of the Children’s Heart Unit Fund.

Ross Murray, the 1500m Olympic semi-finalist from Wallsend, was a guest and was joined by Team GB volleyball Olympians Peter Bakare and Nathan French.

Organiser and CHUF trustee Ivan Hollingsworth said: “We’re overwhelmed with the response. We only launched details of the run nine weeks ago and the tide of support has left us truly humbled.”

Another run took place in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, yesterday and North East personal banker Gemma Cowell had a special reason for taking part.

Gemma was at the Subway Helping Hearts Family 5k to raise money for national charity Heart Research UK after her father and grandfather both suffered from heart attacks.

“I’ve done lots of charity things for cancer but people don’t realise how many people are affected by heart disease,” said Gemma, of Sunderland, who works for Barclays at Doxford Park.

And the ¡VAMOS! Festival’s Family Picnic at Summerhill Bowling Club, Newcastle, on Saturday brought a Brazilian and Portuguese spirit with carnival dancers and Latin musicians.

Nik Barrera, ¡VAMOS! Festival co-director said: “We have really tried to shake things up and we feel is our strongest programme yet. The music from the best Brazilian Band of 2013, Da Lata, and the dancers and performers, as well as the sunshine made for a great afternoon.”


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