CARING staff at a Teesdale building society branch have donated £350 to a Barnard Castle charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged children get involved in sport.

The cash was made up of a £250 donation from the Darlington Building Society Community Fund and £100 raised by staff and customers at the Barnard Castle branch who took part in a ‘name the bear’ competition and raffle.

The money has been donated to A Smile for A Child, which provides grants for disabled and disadvantaged children, allowing them to participate and progress in sport.

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Branch manager, Laura Sowerby said: “A Smile for A Child is a wonderful charity. The customers have been extremely generous.”

The charity was set up three years ago by Christopher Read, who added: “We are extremely grateful for the donation.

"As a Barnard Castle-based charity, it is wonderful to get recognition from so close to home.”

His daughter, Lauren, carried the Olympic flame in the summer in recognition of her fundraising efforts for the charity and since then, more than £10,000 has since been raised from donations by people who have had their photograph taken alongside her torch.

Mr Read added: “Helping disabled and disadvantaged children is extremely rewarding.

"We are constantly organising fundraising events and charity collections, but it is all made worthwhile when we are able to assist a child to get involved in sport.”

More information on the charity can be found at: