SCHOOL staff and students have donated money and food hampers to a women's refuge following a festive fundraising campaign.

King James I Community College, in Bishop Auckland, broke up for the Christmas holiday yesterday, but not before pupils handed over £155 to Wear Valley Women's Refuge.

Pupils and teachers raised the money as part of a year-long series of events, while year seven youngsters donated food and presents for the hamper.

The school council, which is made up of staff and students, set themselves a target at the start of the year to raise £2,005 for charity, and have now exceeded that figure.

Instead of buying Christmas cards, pupils and staff made a donation to the women's refuge and members of Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans raised money through raffles at their latest production at the school.

Stephen Elliott, from the theatre group, said: "We have a good relationship with the refuge. They are fantastic people and do a good job.