A TEACHING assistant who set up a charity to help underprivileged children following the death of her mother has bene named as a Teesside Hero.

When Jane Morgan discovered her mother, Ellen Timney, was dying from cancer she vowed to do something extraordinary in her name.

Eleven years on, married mother-of-two Mrs Morgan is the driving force behind the Ellen Timney Foundation, which donates up to £25,000 a year to the help most sick and underprivileged Teesside children.

The charity helps out nearly 3,000 Teesside children a year, providing Christmas gifts to around 600 of the area’s most impoverished youngsters.

Now Mrs Morgan has been honoured with a Teesside Hero Award in recognition of her ongoing dedication to the area’s sick and disadvantaged children.

She received her award from Paul Drake of Stockton-based Sapere Software, one of Teesside Philanthropic Foundation's newest patrons.

The teaching assistant at St Joseph's Primary School in Norton said: "Winning this has made me think about what mam would have made about all of this going on in her name. I think she’d have been totally overwhelmed."

Mrs Timney passed away 11 years ago next month when, having beaten breast cancer, she was diagnosed with cancer of the brain, spine, chest, bones and lungs.

Following her terminal diagnosis, family friend Ron Darby vowed to start a charity in Ellen’s name, with Mrs Morgan and her father Tony helping to launch the Ellen Timney Foundation.

The charity organises a successful annual ball at Hardwick Hall as well as a golf day at Ramside Hall once a year.

Much of the money raised funds a Christmas appeal, with the charity working with many local schools to provide gifts for hundreds of the region’s poorest children.

“It’s often heart-breaking to hear the stories of local children who’ve gone through such horrific times.

Mrs Morgan added: “Ultimately, we started the charity to keep alive my mam’s name because she touched so many hearts."

Her award from Teesside Philanthropic Foundation included a trophy, vouchers and £1,000 for charity, which she has chosen to share between CAUSE Christmas Hamper Campaign and Remembering Rebecca, a charity run by her fellow Teesside Hero Gemma Sands, who nominated her.