HOMLESS people in Chester-le-Street will benefit from a charity donation by the town’s Rotary Club.

The club made the national homeless charity Changing Lives its charity of the year, and raised £1,700 for the local branch during the year with events including sponsored walks and raffles.

The money will go to the charity’s accommodation service, which is upgrading its premises.

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The club’s past president, Alex Nelson, said: “If charity begins at home, as many people say it does, then helping the homeless in our home town must be a good place to start.

“We felt that supporting Changing Lives as our charity of the year was most appropriate and in line with our slogan for this year, 'Engage Rotary, Change Lives'."

He added: “We hope that the money raised can be used to change the lives of many homeless people in the years ahead.”

The local accommodation service supports vulnerable adults who are homeless and helps to develop the skills and abilities they to move on positively with their lives and live independently.

Accommodation service manager Amy Robinson said: “We were delighted when Chester-le-Street Rotary Club informed us that we had been chosen as their charity of the year.

“We are currently undergoing a reconstruction of the service, which is due to be complete in the early autumn. This fantastic donation will enable us to landscape the outside area, getting residents involved with nature and gardening.

“Activities such as gardening help to promote healthy well-being. This is important for our residents as it gives them the opportunity to develop important life skills such as team building, raised confidence and self-esteem.”