South Shields restaurant Zeera’s heartwarming gesture to the Charlie and Carter Foundation

A South Shields restaurant has served up a £1,000 donation to a charity which supports the families of seriously ill children.

Zeera Cuisine in Ocean Road held a series of raffles over Christmas and New Year to raise cash for a local good cause and get 2023 off to a positive start.

The venue asked customers for suggestions through its social media and the Charlie and Carter Foundation was chosen from the many replies.

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Zeera sold tickets across the Festive Period to win Christmas and New Year hampers, as well as a DIY Curry Kit, raising £832, which restaurant bosses have made up to £1,000.

Shah Choudhury with Joanne Nicholson

‘Our customers never let us down’

Zeera owner Shah Choudhury was delighted with the response from patrons: “All year round we like to provide for our local community and beyond, whether that be discounts for NHS workers, raising money for those less-advantaged, free meals for children during the school holidays as well as the Ukraine appeal, so this was just another way of saying thank you to our superb clients.

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"They never let us down and always contribute wherever and whenever they can, and this was no exception.”

Sarah Cookson, 47, and husband Chris, 44, lost their son Charlie in 2013 at just two-years-old after he was born with a “number of life-limiting conditions”.

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Five years later, their second child, Carter, died at just three weeks old after being born with a heart condition.

They channelled their energy into The Charlie and Carter Foundation, which provides financial support to parents/guardians of seriously ill children with life-limiting conditions.

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‘It’s great to see local businesses supporting local charities’

Foundation charity manager Joanne Nicholson visited Zeera to collect the cheque and thanked staff and customers for their support: “We appreciate this kind donation so much and can’t thank Shah and his lovely team at Zeera enough,” she said.

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"It’s great to see local businesses supporting local charities and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed to the fund-raising activities during the festivities.

“We understand how difficult life can become when you have no choice but to reduce your working hours, or in some cases, leave your job, as a result of a child in your care requiring 24-hour support, so this will assist so much the families that rely on our help.”