THOUSANDS of pounds have been presented to one of the region's leading hospice charities by energetic young fundraisers.

An annual run at Barnard Castle School, County Durham, earlier this year, raised £5,114.41 for The Butterwick Hospice.

The top ten fundraisers who took part in the event, which has been held every year since 1885, presented hospice founder Mary Butterwick with a cheque to help boost the coffers of her palliative care centres in Bishop Auckland and Stockton.

Mrs Butterwick said: "It has been an amazing effort and the really exciting thing is that the school has pledged to support my charity for the next seven years."

The presentation was also an opportunity to strengthen the link between the school and charity as Mrs Butterwick presented awards, including a cup named after her and she was also made an honorary Old Barnardian.

School chaplain Stephen Ridley said: "The Barney Run is a special event and the school really got behind it this year to raise as much money as possible for Butterwick.

"Supporting the charity was the idea of two of our teachers, Charles Alderson and Mark Fuller. It is lovely to have this association with the Butterwick and it allows the children to do something very worthwhile."