A COUNSELLING service provided by a North-East hospice to children and teenagers affected by bereavement, is set to benefit after achieving a slice of £1m in private funding.

Stockton-based Butterwick Hospice’s Kidz Club secured third place and a cash prize of £20,000 in a charity campaign to support under 18s by nationwide housebuilders Persimmon Homes.

The charity, which has hospices in Stockton and Bishop Auckland, opened its most recent charity shop on Newgate Street in Bishop Auckland earlier this year in July.

Stephen Ward, grandson of the charity’s founder Mary Butterwick, opened the store in the hospice’s continued bid to fundraise for the hospice on the region’s high streets.

But in its latest fundraising boost, Butterwick Hospice’s Kidz Club was one of about 90 organisations across England, Wales and Scotland who received a share of the Persimmon Homes’ Building Futures Campaign to hand out £1m to charities supporting young people.

In the campaign, more than 225,000 votes were cast from members of the public who chose the organisations and charities they believed deserved the money.

At the Persimmon Homes gala dinner awards, which was held event at York Racecourse, the Stockton-based hospice provider found out members of the public had selected the firm to sit third place, and receive their £20,000 in cash.

After the awards, Kevin Thubron director at Persimmon Homes on Teesside said this year's scheme to donate cash to charities across the country had been a 'great success'.

He said: “The Building Futures scheme has been a great success and we had a brilliant evening at York Racecourse celebrating the fantastic work of so many organisations supporting young people in our communities.

“We have been overwhelmed by both the response to the competition, and the hard work and dedication of those involved within all the groups and we are delighted our region was one of the big winners.”

Elsewhere in the Tees Valley, Persimmon Homes donated £5,000 to Norton Cricket Club and Hartlepool College’s Opening Doors Scheme.