Live updates

"When you get in the middle it is your time to shine"

Thousands of children from 72 schools performed at the Sage Gateshead in the annual Gateshead Schools Dance Festival.

The event is organised by Gateshead Council to encourage youngsters to express their creativity and get fit.

These children told us they enjoyed it a lot.


North East MP welcomes supermarket decision on children's toys

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah Credit:

Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah has welcomed the announcement by Morrisons that it will remove signs for 'boys' and 'girls' toys, and phase out blue and pink.

Morrisons says it is planning to display toys according to price, and the changes will be in place next year.

Chi Onwurah - who has backed the 'Let Toys Be Toys' campaign - greeted the news as a "good step forward", but said there is still a long way to go with other retailers.

Morrisons statement on toys

" Morrisons has updated the signage in many of our stores and removed the reference to "boys" and "girls" toys. We are aware that the old signage remains in some stores and are working to address this.

"Our new signage retains colour coding based on our experience that this helps customers to navigate the aisle and quickly find the toys they are looking for. We are listening carefully to the views of all of our customers and the Let Toys be Toys campaign.

– Morrisons spokeswoman

Morrisons backs calls to end gender stereotypes in toys

Supermarket chain Morrison's became the first in the country to back MP Chi Onwurah's calls to ban sexist toys.

Morrisons has said it will look at how girls and boys toys are displayed in its stores.

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, has led efforts to force an end to gender stereotyping which can see girls offered pink toys and boys offered blue toys.


Foster care Q&A sessions in County Durham

As children's Charity Barnardos warns that 450 foster families are required in the North East, one of the regions councils is holding drop-in days to help recruit 50 carers over the coming year.

Durham County Council is encouraging anyone with any questions about becoming a carer to come along to the information days.

The drop-in sessions will take place on the following dates:

January 16, Lamplight Arts Centre, Stanley, anytime between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

January 17, Durham Town Hall, anytime between 11.00am and 4.00pm.

January 23, Four Clocks Centre, Bishop Auckland, anytime between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

North East fostering campaign

People across the North East are being asked to consider fostering or adopting a child.

The charity Barnardo's is leading the campaign.

It says there is a particular shortage of foster carers. An extra 450 are needed across the region, especially on Teesside.

Angela Tatum from Barnardo's came into the studio and told Helen Ford more about the fostering process.

Toy Doll Recall in Hartlepool

Trading Standards Officer Rachael Readman with the dolls Credit: Hartlepool Council

Anyone who has bought a toy doll with an animal design on the outfit in Hartlepool should return it to the seller. Hartlepool Council are concerned a doll that's been on sale at the town's indoor market could be one from China which has previously been subject to a national product recall.

Trading Standards officers are concerned the dolls may contain a chemical which when consumed has been associated with causing cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men.

"Whilst we do not want to cause unnecessary alarm, we want to make parents aware to ensure that children have no contact with these dolls. Young babies in particular will often chew soft toys and there is a real concern that they could be at risk."

"The remaining stock of dolls has been handed over by the trader and we are waiting on formal analysis before we can confirm if the dolls contain phthalates. An investigation on how the dolls came to be on sale in Hartlepool is ongoing."

"I would encourage anyone who may have purchased one of these dolls as a Christmas present for a child to ensure the child's parent is aware of our concerns. We would also welcome any information about other traders who may be retailing these dolls, unaware of the product recall."


Load more updates