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Plans for children's cancer research centre in Newcastle

Musician Sting and TV writing duo Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais of 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' fame are amongst respected names from the world of music, stage, business and community work to have become patrons of the Future Fund.

The Fund aims to raise £5.5 million to create the Newcastle University Centre for Childhood Cancer, a state-of-the-art facility where the city’s academics can accelerate the children’s cancer research and treatment that has already earned them international recognition.

The project is a collaborate effort between the University, the North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) charity and Newcastle Hospitals’ Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH).

The nine local heroes to have thrown their weight behind the campaign are all either from the North East or have strong links to the region. The individuals, who all were nominated by the public as being some of the area’s most influential people as part of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s Local Hero campaign, are:

  • David Almond, award-winning author of children’s book Skellig, which was later adapted into an opera with Sage Gateshead.
  • Dame Margaret Barbour DBE, businesswoman who reinvented luxury lifestyle brand Barbour of South Shields.
  • Professor Sir John Burn, Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University.
  • Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, screenwriters, film directors and producers who were co-creators of classic British comedies Auf Wierdersehen Pet, The Likely Lads and Porridge.
  • Ray Jackson and Ray Laidlaw, of Newcastle folk-rock band Lindisfarne which went to the top of the charts with its much-loved album Fog on the Tyne in 1971.
  • Doreen ‘Granny’ Jardine, community activist who has been making a difference in the neighbourhood of Blakelaw in Newcastle for over 60 years.
  • Sting CBE, composer, singer, author, actor, activist who was born in Wallsend before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.

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School holidays put extra burden on family food budgets

1 in 6 pupils in the North East are not getting enough to eat in the school holidays.

Over a quarter of parents say that the school holidays put an extra burden on their food budget and 17% say they struggle to feed their children three meals a day.

The research by Kellogg's also reveals that 42% of teachers notice children coming back after the holidays with signs of weight loss.

Term time breaks put an extra burden on the family food budget and last August, food bank usage increased by over 21% compared to the same time in June.

Ant and Dec nominate Shearer for ice bucket challenge

Ant and Dec join Cheryl and Newcastle United players and coaches in taking part in the ice bucket challenge. They've chosen to nominate former footballer Alan Shearer:

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