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Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson backs Sports Fest North East

Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is encouraging people in the region to get involved with Sports Fest North East.

Credit: PA

The free event, which is set to take place today at Durham University, is run by Paralympics GB and is open to all ages and impairment groups to have a go at a wide range of disability sports.

Bringing Paralympics GB Sports Fest to the North East is a fantastic opportunity for people in the region to relight that spark and interest in disability sport that shone so brightly at London 2012 and try it for themselves. It is so important that we maintain the momentum from the home Games and the recognition that we should all be making sport a part of our everyday lives.

– Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paralympian

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North East leaders unite to back vision to reduce smoking

Credit: PA

Plans to cut smoking rates to 5% across the North East by 2025 have been backed by health and local government leaders.

According to North East smoking charity, Fresh,the vision to reduce smoking rates to 5% by 2025 would have a profound impact on the region's NHS and economy - freeing-up around £50 million for the NHS and significantly easing the strain on hospital admissions and GP surgeries, as well as slashing the cost of smoking on local businesses.

Based on the estimated 2025 population, if just 5% of people smoked in the North East it would reduce the annual cost to the region from £158m to £58m.

Lisa Surtees, Acting Director of Fresh, said:

While we still see devastation of people's health from smoking, we have a duty to do all that we can to protect future generations from the harm of tobacco by making it a thing of the past.

"This is an ambitious goal, but it is the right one. There are very few families in our region who have not seen someone they love suffer as a result of smoking. We do not want children in theNorth East growing up seeing smoking and the diseases caused by tobacco as a normal part of life.

We have made good progress over the past decade, but smoking is still by far our biggest killer. Although we have along way to go, uniting partners in this forward-thinking vision will help us to realise the end goal of making smoking history for our children.

– Lisa Surtees, Acting Director of Fresh

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Police release image after assault that left victim needing plastic surgery

Police are appealing to speak to a man following an assault that left the victim with serious facial injury that required plastic surgery.

The victim, a 54-year-old man from the Durham area, sustained a large cut to his head and significant damage to his teeth.

The assault took place in the early hours of Saturday, December 20 2014 on North Road in Durham City, near to the Pizza Time take-away.

The man in the image is described as of medium build, with dark hair and wearing a yellow long-sleeved shirt with dark trousers and dark shoes.

Anyone with information that might assist police investigations into the incident, or help identify the man in the image, is asked to call PC Gavin Reay on 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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