Epic charity runner Mark Allison met up with schoolchildren to highlight how his fundraising efforts will help youngsters in the region.
At the start of this year, Mark - dubbed Run Geordie Run - completed a gruelling run across Australia to raise vital funds for charities close to his heart.
The father-of-one has generated almost £55,000, which will be split between the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children’s Foundation.
The 42-year-old was guest of honour at The Children’s Foundation Supporters’ Evening at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where fundraisers got an update on all the charity’s projects helping youngsters who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffer from mental health issues.
Pupils from Dunn Street Primary School in Jarrow, South Tyneside, were at the event and were delighted to meet their hero.
The pupils previously raised more than £1,000 for Mark by organising an hour-long sponsored run, to appreciate the difficulties he must have faced during his charity challenge.
Demi-Leigh Tinnion, from Year 6, said: “We wanted to help Mark raise money for the two charities and for children in hospital. I felt funny inside before the run: I think it was excitement.
“During the run, I felt like this was the best idea in the world, yet after the run I was very tired and also very surprised with how many laps I’d completed.”
Mark, of Blyth, Northumberland, has supported The Children’s Foundation for more than five years and is ambassador of the charity.
He said: “Seeing the work done by the Foundation and seeing the effect it has on over 29,500 children a year makes all the running worthwhile.
“My run in Australia has been my toughest challenge yet, so seeing what the charity does makes the difficulties I faced out there seem a distant memory.”
In October Mark set off from Perth, Australia, and after 82 days and almost 2,500 scorching miles, he made it to the other side of the country, finishing in Shellharbour.
Peregrine Solly, chief executive of The Children’s Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be able to take this opportunity to make a personal thank you to Mark for all that he has put himself through in supporting The Children’s Foundation.
“Our projects rely on support from fundraisers like Mark to keep improving the health of children in our region.
“Last year we directly helped or affected the lives of thousands of children across the North East.”