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Fraudsters hack charity's phones and rack up £700 bill

Local children’s Charity, Children North East, is warning other charities and businesses to be on their guard after phone lines at their head office in Newcastle were hacked at the weekend.

Fraudsters clocked up a bill of £680 calling premium numbers abroad.

The Charity, currently in the middle of its Christmas Appeal, learned of the intrusion when their telecoms provider, O2, contacted them on Monday morning.

We provide support to children, young people and families who are in desperate need of our help. It’s dreadful to think someone would steal from a charity especially at this time of year. Every Christmas we collect thousands of gifts, food, practical items and money for families in need. The £680 we are having to now pay for stolen phone calls should have provided support for children and families.

As an organisation we take security very seriously and we would like to thank O2 for looking out for us and bringing this to our attention before any more damage could be done.

– Jeremy Cripps, Chief Executive, Children North East

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Text Santa: Supporting children in hospices

All this week we've be hearing about how some of the money being raised for Text Santa will benefit people right here in the region, ahead of tonight's live programme on ITV.

St Oswald's Hospice in Newcastle receives support from Together for Short Lives - a national charity that supports children's hospices in the UK.

Here's Deborah and Isabelle's story:

This year's beneficiaries are Alzheimer's Society, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Teenage Cancer Trust, Together for Short Lives and WellChild.

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Text Santa: Alzheimer's Society

In the build up to our Christmas fundraising campaign Text Santa's live show this Friday evening, we're looking at how the money raised will benefit people here in the North East.

Alzheimer's Society is one of the six charities chosen. It funds dementia support workers and pays for activities for people living with dementia and their carers.

Watch Katie Oakes's full report here:

Text Santa: Helping teenagers with cancer

This week on Tyne Tees we'll be hearing about how some of the money being raised for Text Santa will benefit people right here in the North East.

The first charity we are going to see is the Teenage Cancer Trust. They fund specialist units like the one at the Great North Children's hospital, which allow young people to support one another and improve what can be a very isolating situation.

Cameron Asprey from Teesside was given the all clear four years ago:

Campaign to keep elderly people warm this Christmas

Elderly Care Project Winter 2014 Credit: IDC

The North East Islamic Diversity Centre has launched its annual Winter Campaign to help keep elderly members of the community warm this winter.

They are asking for people to donate new blankets, thermal and hot water bottles. The items will be distributed to elderly people living in Newcastle.

Deadline for donations is the 22nd December, to make a donation:Click Here

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