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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.


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:


Bishop of Newcastle's Christmas message

The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Martin Wharton Credit: Diocese of Newcastle

The Rt Revd Martin Wharton:

"In London recently, I saw some beautifully made Christmas crib figures in a shop. Beside them was a sign “Nativity Sets – please do not touch.

You couldn’t get the meaning of Christmas more wrong.

The baby in the straw in the manger is God touching life. Your life and mine. The Christ child is love touching life – ordinary life, back street life, life in the coldest and darkest parts of the world.

The baby in the manger is God touching our life.

But even more than that. The Christmas story is also about us being allowed to touch God. That’s what’s so amazing. It’s the story of love. And when love touches us, we become truly alive."

Keep Christmas thieves at bay

Unseasonal thieves could target your presents Credit: ITV News

Northumbria Police is urging people to get their new gifts logged to keep Christmas thieves at bay. Residents are urged to get new bikes, phones, electricals, tools and other valuables registered with free property logging website

And those who receive iPads, iPhones and other similar smartphones and tablets are urged to activate built in GPS systems and download apps which help locate stolen property.

The immediate crime prevention activity will mean if new property is stolen and later recovered it can be returned to the rightful owner, as well as potentially catching a criminal in possession of stolen goods.

Cops bring Christmas to children in hospital

A/Sgt Jahangiri with all the donated gifts Credit: Northumbria Police

Northumbria Police are bringing Christmas cheer to youngsters who have to spend the festive season in hospital.

They are joining Santa to deliver presents to children spending today - Christmas Day - on the Bubble Foundation ward at Newcastle's RVI Hospital.

Acting Sergeant Michelle Jahangiri asked officers to donate toys to the foundation and was overwhelmed with the response.

She is visiting the ward on Christmas Day with her colleagues from Newcastle city centre's policing team who are on hand to help Father Christmas.

A/Sgt Jahangiri, who works in partnership with the NHS a the RVI hospital, said: "These children are incredibly brave and I wanted to do something nice for them as they'll be spending Christmas Day in hospital instead of at home with their families.

"Hopefully it'll spread a little Christmas cheers and put a smile on the children's face.

"We really hope the children like their presents and that they go some way to making Christmas a little better for the youngsters spending their Christmas in hospital."

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