TRAINING provider IMS UK is to sponsor North-East Olympic gold medalist Jared Deacon, 27.

The South Tyneside athlete will wear the Middlesbrough firm's logo when he takes part in the European Cup and World Championships, in Paris, and the 2004 Olympics, in Athens. He will also encourage people to join IMS training programmes.

TEDDY TRIP: One of the UK's most travelled bears visited Durham this week after notching up 3,250 miles as part of an epic fundraising trip. Whitbread is aiming to raise £1m for this year's Comic Relief by sending Brewster the bear to Whitbread restaurants, hotels and fitness centres across the country with delivery lorries. On Monday, Brewster arrived at Whitbread restaurants in Durham City in a Comic Relief liveried lorry.

COTTAGE PLAN: An application has been submitted to Darlington Borough Council for the refurbishment of the vacant Spring House Cottage, in Sadberge Road, Middleton St George.

TABLE-TOP SALE: A table-top sale in aid of the Friends of Senior Citizens charity will be held in Richmond Market Hall on Wednesday, March 19, from 9am. To book a table, call (01325) 313924.