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Online auction sees football shirts raise funds for Bobby Robson Foundation

A new online charity auction is now underway to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

There are more than 70 lifestyle and sporting lots available in The EACH and Sir Bobby’s Online Auction, including the Sheffield United shirt Gary Speed wore when the club took on Ipswich Town at Portman Road in 2008.

Gary was one of Sir Bobby’s ‘blue chip’ players at Newcastle United and he went on to become a great supporter of his former manager’s charity, even running the London Marathon to raise funds.

Gary’s number 15 match shirt is just one of the many special lots available in this charity auction and it was donated by Eastleigh FC’s Jai Reason.

Gary Speed Credit: Ipswich Town FC

Jai explains: “I watched Gary play my whole career because he was centre midfield like me. He was a fantastic professional and someone I really admired.

“When I was in the Academy at Ipswich we would have first team duties like giving the drinks out. I was on the day Sheffield played at Portman Road and took the opportunity to ask Gary for his shirt at the end of the game and he handed it over with a smile.

“I’ve looked after it ever since, never washed it, but on the anniversary of Gary’s death I thought it might help someone else. That’s when I found out about his connection to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and donated it to them.”

Organised by the EACH Special Events Committee, which is chaired by veteran fundraiser Gina Long, the EACH and Sir Bobby’s Online Auction is running between 6th-19thOctober and is hosted by

Shearer and star guests to help young people into jobs

Alan Shearer Credit: David Davies/PA

X Factor winner Shayne Ward, impressionist and comedian Jon Culshaw and football legend Alan Shearer will be among the celebrity guests taking part in this year's Benfield Golf Day and Gala Dinner, sponsored by Benfield Motor Group, in aid of The Prince's Trust.

Shayne and Jon will be performing at the evening event while during the day, golfers will go head to head in a charity tournament such as Jonathan Edwards, former world's fastest bowler, Steve Harmison and the North East's own Shearer.

Speaking of the event, Alan Shearer said: "Many times, the things that we all take for granted can be everyday life for so many disadvantaged young people in the North East. It is tragic to think that they are so low that they may not have the confidence to walk out of the door in the morning. The funds that we are hoping to raise again this year are so vital to helping The Trust continue its work and making sure that these young people do not get forgotten."

The money raised will go towards running The Prince's Trust's programmes in the North East, giving disadvantaged young people the qualifications and experience to help them get a job.


Newcastle hospice to benefit from Text Santa funds

A Newcastle hospice is set to benefit from ITV's annual Text Santa campaign.

St Oswald's Hospice, in Gosforth, is one of 53 children's hospice services across the UK that will receive a share of funds from the TV appeal through its partnership with Together For Short Lives

St Oswald's provides care to adults, children and young people in the North East.

Text Santa has raised £15 million for charities since it was first launched in 2011.

This year's proceeds will be distributed equally between Teenage Cancer Trust, Guide Dogs, WellChild, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Alzheimer's Society and Together For Short Lives.

The show on 19th December will be presented by stars including Alesha Dixon, Paddy McGuinness, Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley.

The time of year to help those near: Text Santa's back!

Alesha Dixon will join PaddyMcGuinness for one hour of the charity extravaganza Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

AleshaDixon joins the presenter line-up of ITV’s Text Santa for the first time this year, it was announced today.

Singer and Britain’s Got Talent judge partners Paddy McGuinness for one hour of the charity appeal extravaganza on Friday, 19th December.

Ant &Dec, Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley will also present a Text Santa that's bigger than ever, with chart-topping live music performances and some of the biggest names in show business. Amongst some of the treats lined up, George Clooney takes part in a specially-written scene of Downton Abbey; The Cube has a unique Text Santa twist and the stars of Coronation Street perform as we’ve never seen them before.

Text Santa 2014 promises three hours of non-stop entertainment, full to the brim of surprises.

The show raises money and awareness for six UK-based charities in the run-up to the big night. This year’s chosen charities are Teenage Cancer Trust,Guide Dogs, WellChild, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Alzheimer’s Society and Together for Short Lives.

Viewers can donate by visiting the Text Santa Just Giving page

'Ride4Peace' passes through the region

Physically tough and mentally strong Credit: ITV News

25 Muslim cyclists are part way through an arduous 600 mile bike-ride. The journey, from Glasgow to London, took them through Hartlepool today. The 'Ride4Peace' is raising money for charity, but also aiming to spread the message of tolerance and harmony through the towns and cities they pass.


Chi Onwurah MP 'disappointed' by charity closure

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah said the announced closure of the Northern Rock Foundation is an 'incredibly sad day' for the North East.

The charity will close at the end of the year after Virgin Money, its only source of income, halted funding.

The Northern Rock Foundation has made such a difference to so many lives as well as supporting the culture and values of the area.

I have often personally seen the positive consequences of Northern Rock donations.

I am very disappointed that Virgin Money could not find a way of working with such an important local institution given the personal commitment to the city and the region that Richard Branson and the company emphasised as part of their bid for the bank and in subsequent exchanges.

– Chi Onwurah MP, Newcastle Central

Virgin Money 'will continue to support NE community'

Virgin Money says it has have been 'very proud' to support the Northern Rock Foundation in the North East and Cumbria.

Today the charity announced it will close at the end of the year after it failed to reach agreement with Virgin Money on future funding.

The Northern Rock Foundation has contributed to some fantastic work here in the North East and Cumbrian regions for many years and we have been proud to support them with £1.5m of donations over the last two years.

We have tried hard to find a way to continue working together on programmes that would deliver significant benefit to the region, however we have not been able to agree a way forward.

We will continue to support the North East community strongly in a variety of ways and look forward to establishing new partnerships to deliver a range of exciting new projects.

– Jo Barnett, Head of Social Enterprise at Virgin Money

Northern Rock Foundation closes after failed funding talks

The chairman of the Northern Rock Foundation said they are very disappointed that talks with Virgin Money have broken down, leading to the closure of the charity.

The Foundation, which was originally the charitable wing of failed bank Northern Rock, doesn't receive funding from any other source.

It is very disappointing after such extensive discussions to have to accept that Virgin Money will not commit to fund the Foundation in future.

Trustees are keen to ensure that our remaining funds are used to achieve significant benefit in the North East and Cumbria and we will announce our plans later this year.

– Alastair Balls, Chairman of the Northern Rock Foundation
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