Bikers play Santa Claus to help those in need

Hilary Kendrick from Up North Bikers with some of the pile of presents the group donated to the Echo Toy Appeal
Hilary Kendrick from Up North Bikers with some of the pile of presents the group donated to the Echo Toy Appeal
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UP North bikers roared into top gear to bring in sacks of donations from pub regulars for the Echo Toy Appeal.

Their Christmas run is now a roaring success and 20 bikers did the rounds starting from the Queen Vic at Roker, then Sun FM, the White Horse in South Shields, Victoria Gardens, Grangetown, The Cambridge, Fulwell and back to the Queen Vic for soup and buns.

Whitburn mum Hilary Kendrick, who rode her Harley with fellow bikers, dropped all the gifts off at Echo House.

They are going into the poorest of homes in the city. And with just days to go, more desperate mothers are calling for help.

So many just don’t have any money for presents. We will, thanks to you, be helping the young single mothers, some struggling with newborn babies and so hard-up they haven’t got the basics.

Your gifts are already on their way to some of the most destitute known to Sunderland Social Services and Wearside Women In Need, whose refuges are full this Christmas, with more women and children expected over the holidays as violence flares.

We are also helping young men and women coming out of care who have no families of their own and wouldn’t have a present to open on Christmas Day if it weren’t for you.

Widowed mothers are also sharing in your gifts through the Sunderland Orphanage Educational Foundation and the George Hudson Charity.

You can leave your gifts at collection points across the city. Please give only new toys and mark your unwrapped gifts “boy” or “girl” stating the age range they are for.

As well as toys we need toiletries for men, gloves, socks, smellies and gifts for mothers. We also need tins and festive fare.

TOY APPEAL COLLECTION POINTS: Echo House, Pennywell; Echo Office, High Street West; Asda Customer Services, Leechmere, and Byron Place, Seaham; Morrison’s at Doxford Park, Seaburn and Castletown; Sainsbury’s Silksworth Lane and Sainsbury’s Washington; The Bridges customer services desk; Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre in Sunderland city centre.