Staff and councillors from Durham County Council have donated over 600 kilogrammes of food to Durham Food Bank.

Collected over the Christmas period, the foodbank donations provided 758 meals for those in need across County Durham and gave people practical support at a difficult time of year.

Cllr Jane Brown, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “Hundreds of boxes packed with festive treats were donated to Durham Food Bank by our generous colleagues.

“We want to make sure that no one in our community goes hungry, and we’re very pleased to hear that we provided hundreds of meals for food bank users throughout County Durham.

“We also donated £41.34, which the food bank can use to purchase provisions during the coming months.”

As well as donating to Durham Food Bank, council staff took part in mass fundraising activities throughout 2017, raising thousands of pounds in cash and donations for great local charities in the process.

In July, council officers and members wore their football shirts to work in order to raise £3,995.29 in aid of the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

The foundation was set up in memory of Bradley Lowery, a County Durham youngster who lost his battle with Neuroblastoma.

The foundation helps and supports campaigns to raise funds for medical treatment and equipment not available on the NHS.

In December, the council raised £813.71 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) by wearing their Christmas jumpers to work and making a donation.

Staff and council members also donated 75 bags of unwanted clothes, shoes, bags, belts and other items.

The GNAAS is the chosen charity of Durham County Council Chairman Bill Kellett, and the funds raised contribute to the year-long fundraising undertaken during his year of office.

The service operates three helicopters, 365 days a year, across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, and crews respond to around 1,000 call outs each year.

During the festive holidays, and in response to a plea by Cllr Kellett to support the Salvation Army Toy Appeal, staff and members donated new unwrapped toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present.

Cllr Jane Brown added: “We hope that these generous donations can help make a difference in our community, and I’d urge members of staff and the public to keep supporting these amazing charities and all of the good work they do.”