Meet the adorable 'Polar Pup' helping families in need this Christmas

This adorable dog has been spreading festive cheer to families in need by helping to deliver food bank donations.

Dr Colin Younger from University of Sunderland and Jo Durkin with Gabriel at Hebburn Helps.
Dr Colin Younger from University of Sunderland and Jo Durkin with Gabriel at Hebburn Helps.

Gabriel the white German Shepherd – dubbed the University of Sunderland's Polar Pup – has been dropping off food parcels to food bank Hebburn Helps.

The donations, collected by university's English and Creative Writing students, will help scores of families to make this festive season one to remember.

Gabriel with Jo Durkin from Hebburn Helps, Dr Colin Younger and Angie Comerford.

Gabriel belongs to University of Sunderland academics Colin and Alison Younger who helped to organise the collection.

Dr Alison Younger, a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Sunderland, said the students had been incredibly generous in their donations.

She added: “Our second year English and Creative Writing students have been so thoughtful.

"This is the second year we have helped the food bank and it’s been a joy to see how kind they’ve been.

Dr Colin Younger from the University of Sunderland with Gabriel, the adorable Polar Pup, who has been helping to deliver food parcels to families in need.

“When we took the donations we also took Gabriel, and he proved a popular delivery man.

"He was nicknamed the Polar Pup.”

Hebburn Helps provides invaluable support to some of the most in need people across South Tyneside and beyond.

As well as essential food and clothing items, they have so far given out 130 frozen turkeys, while 350 children have received toys that they might otherwise have gone without.

The organisation also works with women’s refuges, as well as running a sanitary programme to help stop period poverty.

Angie Comerford, Hebburn Helps team leader and chairwoman, said: “The university has been amazing, they were brilliant last year and this year they arrived with massive amounts, they have been so generous.

“It was also great to see Gabriel the dog, or the Polar Pup as he is now known, as he really brought a smile to everyone’s face.

“We rely on generous donations like those provided by the University, without them we wouldn’t be able to help those most in need.”

Hebburn Helps will be working up until Saturday to make sure they distribute all their packages in time for Christmas.