Shoppers the heroes with fundraisers

Beacon Centre manager Chris Wilson, left, and Michael Atkinson, presidents of the Rotary Club of North Shields, present the cheque to Joyce Roberts of the Help for Heroes local volunteer group.

Beacon Centre manager Chris Wilson, left, and Michael Atkinson, presidents of the Rotary Club of North Shields, present the cheque to Joyce Roberts of the Help for Heroes local volunteer group.

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MORE than £3,600 was collected for Help for Heroes in December thanks to shoppers in North Shields.

Members of North Shields Rotary Club and the charity’s volunteers took turns to man Santa’s Grotto in the Beacon Centre during December, with hundreds of children visiting.

Entry to see Santa was free but donations of more than £1,400 went towards the overall figure with collections also made at the town’s Tesco store.

Michael Atkinson, president of The Rotary Club of North Shields, said: “We are very excited to have raised this amount, which is well in excess of previous years.

“We are aware that these are difficult times, but shoppers have shown that they are able to show great generosity, for which we are very grateful.”

Joyce Roberts, who leads the Help for Heroes volunteer group locally, said: “This is a fantastic effort by the Rotary Club of North Shields, and we would like to extend our thanks to the residents.”

One of the charity’s current projects is a new personnel recovery centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

The programme of educational, cultural and leisure activities, led by specialists, helps to get the wounded, injured and sick back out doing what they enjoy most.

Beacon Centre manager Chris Wilson said: “It’s excellent that we can be part of such a great initiative.

“This has been good for both of us, in that we have had Santa at the shopping centre, and our shoppers have been able to give the Rotary and Help for Heroes a boost.”