TWO charities have received a a boost of thousands of pounds in their coffers thanks to the fundraising efforts of a County Durham civic leader.

The £14,500 was raised by Councillor Katie Corrigan, in her roles as Durham County Council Chairman and Mayor of Durham City.

It will be split between Age UK County Durham, which supports older people, and the Cheesy Waffles Project, which offers support to children, young people and adults who have additional needs.

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Cllr Corrigan, with help from her community and council colleagues, raised the money through a range of events and activities throughout her term as chairman and mayor.

Examples included a sponsored cycle ride of more than 500 miles through England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and Wales, by fellow councillor Peter Brookes, who represents Trimdon and Thornley, and his four teammates.

A huge Christmas coffee morning was held at Durham Town Hall, hosted by volunteers from both charities, councillors and council staff.

Council staff and elected members supported the worthy causes with a bake sale at County Hall, by paying to wear their festive threads on a Christmas Jumper Day, by opting to donate directly from their monthly pay in a Pennies from Heaven scheme and via office collection tins.

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And Cllr Corrigan took on a personal running challenge which saw her leap into action every day in August, covering a total of 100km and raising £2,000.

Cllr Corrigan said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has made a donation or held a fundraising activity to support my chosen charities.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of individuals and organisations, who have given not only their money, but their support and time to help me achieve this fantastic total.

“In particular, I’d like to express my gratitude to Durham Rotary Club Swimathon, Durham City Freemen and parish councils across the county, who have made some of the largest donations.

“Age UK County Durham and Cheesy Waffles do amazing work and every amount donated, from small change to hundreds of pounds has been gratefully received and will make a huge difference to people’s lives across County Durham.”

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A new Durham County Council Chairman is usually elected by the council each May and serves for 12 months.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual council meeting has not been held and Cllr Corrigan continues as Chairman.

She has decided to begin to raise money for the chosen charity of the Vice Chairman, Cllr Ossie Johnson, the Fire Fighters Charity.