Sunderland council workers man Comic Relief lines

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SUNDERLAND City Council workers once again donated their time and skill to help this year’s Comic Relief appeal.

Red Nose Day was on Friday 13 March and this year Comic Relief called on the great British public to make their face funny for money.

Councillor Mel Speding and volunteers from Sunderland Council man phones to receive donations for Comic Reliefs 'Red Nose Day' in the council's own call centre at the Civic Centre last night.

Councillor Mel Speding and volunteers from Sunderland Council man phones to receive donations for Comic Reliefs 'Red Nose Day' in the council's own call centre at the Civic Centre last night.

Members of the public were encouraged to buy one of the nine new noses or get sponsored to paint their face, let their kids do their make-up or text donate a silly selfie.

Whatever they chose to do, they joined millions of other funny faces up and down the country as they raised life changing cash.

Around 100 volunteers handled calls and donations at the customer contact centre based at the Civic Centre.

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Mel Speding, said: “We are always delighted to do what we can to support Comic Relief.

“Council staff regularly support charity fundraising events and this was the seventh year running that they have supported this worthy cause.

“Our contact centre expected to handle around 3,000 calls during the evening and has a reputation for being one of the most effective centres across the country.

“Everyone who takes part in this event can be proud of their efforts. By helping to raise thousands of pounds of donations for this very special cause they can make a huge positive change to someone’s life.”

Money raised by Comic Relief helps to give poor people in Africa opportunities for a better life, and also helps poor and disadvantaged people and communities across the UK.

Beneficiaries in the Sunderland area have included: Washington Mind (an independent charity offering a range of mental health and wellbeing services and training to respond to the needs of local people) and the Sunderland AFC Foundation who use the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year.

In addition to this, regional charities including Age UK, We Live Here 2, Barnardo’s North East and many more have also received grants to help them deliver their aims.