A CHILDREN’S charity is £1,333 better off thanks to the work of staff at a North East department store.

The staff at Debenhams, in Sunderland, raised the cash throughout November to help the children’s charity Hope 4 Kidz.

Store manager John McGee, said: "What a fantastic amount of funds raised for the Sunderland based charity Hope 4 Kidz through the generosity of our customers, I am sure the funds will go to good use".

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The donation comes as part of the annual effort by Hope 4 Kidz to provide disadvantaged and special needs children with a Christmas to remember.

The charity is running a number of events to ensure that these children have a good time.

There is a selection box collection drive going on across the North East. Selection boxes can be donated at any of the drop off points: Cestria in Chester-le-Street, Debenhams in Sunderland, Matalan in Pallion, Morrisons in Seaburn and the Hope 4 Kidz main office in Pennywell. Donations are being collected until December 18.

There is also to be a Santa’s Christmas Party hosted by Hope 4 Kidz at Passion nightclub, Sunderland on December 9.

The charity hopes to attract 450 disadvantaged or special needs children to the event. Viv Watts from the charity said: "Santa’s Christmas party is one of the most popular events of the year because it gives the children something to look forward to and a chance to escape their circumstances for the afternoon".