Pub brings Christmas cheer to North Tyneside kids

Hundreds of vulnerable children woke up to a gift on Christmas morning, thanks to the generosity of a pub's regulars.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 8:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:37 am
Officials at North Tyneside Council unload the van full of presents collected by Sharon Herron and customers at The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval.

Sharon Herron, landlady of The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval, launched a Christmas gift appeal to help 169 children and young people in North Tyneside.

She set up a Christmas tree in the entrance to the pub with customers invited to take a paper angel from the tree, each one with the name and age of a child, and come back with a gift-wrapped present.

And she was gobsmacked by the response.

Before Christmas, they delivered three Transit vans full of presents to North Tyneside Council to be delivered by social services.

Sharon first ran the appeal last year for children in Northumberland, and wanted to repeat the success in North Tyneside.

She said: “It’s been amazing. Some of our customers don’t have very much themselves – but they’ve given by whatever means they can to support people who are in need and that’s what makes it special.

“One woman bought a present using points on her Nectar card; an elderly customer bought a Playstation for a little boy; and another customer took three of the paper angels and bought bikes as well as a new Kindle for one little girl.

“People here are so generous when it comes to helping others and they get behind every charity we support. Nobody wants any glory, they just want to feel like they’ve made a child’s Christmas.”

As well as the pub’s generosity, the council also received a £1,000 donation from the Whitley Bay Big Local community group to purchase gifts for young care leavers.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “Words cannot express how grateful we are to Sharon and her customers, our social workers, and people in the community for their generous donations – and also to Whitley Bay Big Local for their fundraising efforts.

“Christmas is supposed to be a fun-filled time of year for children everywhere but that is not always the case and I’m sure these presents will bring real joy to some of our most vulnerable children and young people on Christmas day.”