A NORTH-EAST airport which closed its doors earlier this week has donated all of its perishable food supplies to NHS workers at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Staff from Teesside International Airport have delivered the food from the terminal's bars and cafes in recognition of the work NHS staff are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The airport took the decision to close on Tuesday, March 24 following the suspension of Eastern Airways and KLM flights due to government advice to avoid all but essential travel.

At the time, bars and cafes in the terminal had been increasing stock to serve an anticipated growth in passenger numbers following the introduction of new flights.

However, Lesley Johnson, customer service assistant, aong with colleagues, said all perishable food should be redistributed to the NHS when the terminal building closed.

She said: “We’ve all seen on the news that NHS staff are working flat-out to help those in need. It’s heartbreaking to see that when they finish work and go shopping, they struggle to get what they need.

“I know this is only a very small gesture and I hope that they manage to get a break to enjoy some of it. We just want them to know that we are all here supporting them.

"I would urge everyone to think of others at these difficult times.”

After the donation, the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The days and weeks ahead are going to be difficult for everyone, but they are going to be particularly difficult for our amazing NHS workers who are right on the frontline of fighting this deadly virus.

"The actions of our airport team goes to show that in the face of adversity, we really do pull together for the greater good.

“It’s a difficult time for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. I’d urge everyone to support each other where possible and in line with the latest Government rules.

"Check on the elderly or vulnerable, even if it’s just a phone call, or volunteer your time through the new NHS Volunteer scheme.

"Please stay safe by following the latest advice in these challenging times.”