Ice cream donations charity scheme raises £3,500

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CINEMA buffs enjoyed free ice cream to raise a cool £3,500 for Age UK Sunderland.

Visitors to Empire Cinema Sunderland received scoops in return for a donation.

It was the second year the Sunniside picture house, has taken part in the annual Free Cone Day, which has grown into a global event which sees more than a million scoops given away worldwide every year.

The cinema’s assistant manager Anish Patel said staff were inspired to raise money for Age UK after meeting older film buffs who regularly attend weekly screenings.

“We get a lot of older people coming in here on a Wednesday when we have a senior showing,” he said.

“You get to know them and the problems they have in a day-to-day life and how Age UK can help them.”