TSUNAMI fundraisers have returned to the North-East from the Far East after an emotionally-draining trip.

Husband and wife Gavin and Ann Nicholson and voluntary worker Peter Burns have been visiting survivors of the Boxing Day tidal wave tragedy on behalf of Tyneside group Geordie Aid.

The three were among the first to sign up for Geordie Aid to provide long-term aid to people in the devastated areas.

They have been forging links with aid agencies and visiting refugee camps, schools, communities and businesses to find out what help people in the North-East can provide.

Geordie Aid secretary Mr Nicholson, 52, from Washington, said: "Everything has gone great out there. We have made many, many contacts with other agencies.

"We have identified the need for a doctor and a nurse for the island of PhiPhi. One nurse has been manning the island for three months on her own, 24 hours a day, and she is near to exhaustion."

The dad-of-two, a nurse at BUPA Hospital, Washington, was so moved that he was tempted to stay himself.

He added: "Many areas still require assistance, both physical and nursing.

"We will need to have a meeting with members, soonest, to see if anyone can come out asap.

"We are very tired, but it has been worth the effort. The sights we have witnessed has been emotionally-draining."