Helen Ford has been finding out how the People's Millions grants have helped improve lives.
She revisited Lynn McManus - a winner from last year - to find out about her story.
More top news
Thousands of primary school pupils in the North East are expected to be absent today, as parents pull them out to protest against SATs.
Kerrie Gosney brings you Monday night's forecast
North East parents are most likely to raid their children's piggy banks to pay for things such as parking, takeaways and the tooth fairy.