This year's Text Santa appeal is in full swing.
Money raised by the ITV Christmas appeal will be shared equally between six different charities.
One of those is Help the Hospices.
In the first of our reports on how people in the North East will benefit from money raised, Katie Oakes met a family from County Durham who are being supported after losing a relative to cancer.
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The Black Cats will play next season in the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League.
Sunderland lost 1-nil at home to Bournemouth and Hull's draw at Southampton meant the Black Cats drop into the Championship.
More public support is expected for the riders as they take on stage 2.