Sporting stars gathered at a special lunch to help raise £30,000 for disabled children in the North East.
More than 600 people from the business community were entertained by English cricketer Steve Harmison at this year’s Lord Taverner’s Christmas Lunch, a cricket club and charity founded to give disabled children a sporting chance.
Around £33,000 was raised at the event, at Newcastle Civic Centre, which will go towards sporting equipment and sporting programmes in the region.
Next year, the charity will have raised £1m for disabled children in the North East.
The event was also attended by Durham Cricket Coach Geoff Cook and the County Championship trophy was also on show.
Alan Wright, chair of the UK regions and nations for the charity, said: “The North East has one of the biggest Lord Taverners events outside of London.
“Despite hard times people in the North East are always the most generous. The lunch itself raised £33,000, which was the best in the country.”
Over the years the charity has bought mini buses and created sensory rooms for disabled youngsters, aged up to 19-years-old.
In North Tyneside, Percy Hedley School, in Forest Hall, received a grant from the charity to enhance the hydrotherapy pool experience for the disabled youngsters at the school.
A multi-sensory system was installed at the pool, with a versatile sound and lighting system which aids relaxation and adds to the fun that the sessions bring to pupils.
Mr Wright said: “We give children with disabilities a sporting chance and we try to make a big difference.
“Over the years we have bought mini buses and in the last few years the money has gone towards sensory rooms for the youngsters.”
This year they have supplied cricket bags, grants for new pitches, specially adapted minibuses and sports wheelchairs.
In addition they have also invested £537,877 in youth cricket and disability sports programmes.