Charity champ supports Echo Toy Appeal + where to leave your gift donations

Fundraisers Carla Cuthbertson and Julie Reay, right, with Sunderland Echo's Gavin Foster, left, and Sainsbury's Rob Frazer buying gifts for last year's appeal

Fundraisers Carla Cuthbertson and Julie Reay, right, with Sunderland Echo's Gavin Foster, left, and Sainsbury's Rob Frazer buying gifts for last year's appeal

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Charity champion Julie Reay will be helping to bring smiles to the faces of children in need this Christmas.

Julie from Barnes will be hosting a charity night on Friday to raise funds to buy gifts which will be donated to the Echo’s annual Toy Appeal.

The fundraiser, who lost her son Peter, 13, in a tragic rope swing accident in 2002, is a long-time supporter of our festive campaign to reach out to disadvantaged and special needs children in the area.

She said: “I started giving to the Echo Toy Appeal in 2003. After tragically losing Peter the year before, his presents had lain unopened. I made the heart-breaking decision to give them to this appeal and make a difference to some child or children at Christmas time. I am sure it’s what Peter would have wanted.

“Since then every year through Peter’s Trust Fund, we have made donations to the appeal, however big or small.”

The fundraising night will take place at The Jolly Potter in South Hylton and will feature live music, a disco and raffle.

Julie said: “My dear friends Anne and Rob at the Potters have helped so much in the past and of course their generous customers are always lending helping hands.”

Gifts donated to our appeal will be delivered to hospitals, women’s refuges and special needs units around Wearside.

Anyone wishing to make a gift donation can do so at collections points by December 19. These are at: Morrisons, Seaburn, Morrisons, Doxford Park, Hays Travel, Santander, Virgin Money Fawcett Street, Virgin Money The Bridges, Tesco The Bridges, Wilkinsons and Hope 4 Kidz office, Pennywell.