PANTO fans in South Tyneside have raised almost £7,000 for the region’s children.
Theatre-goers at The Customs House in South Shields were asked to donate their change in collection buckets during the run of Dick Whittington over the festive season.
Now all the cash has been counted, panto favourite Ray Spencer, who plays the loveable Tommy, handed a cheque for £6,919 to Metro Radio’s Cash For Kids appeal.
The charity’s mascot, Courage the Cat, who picked up the cheque with charity manager Lynsey Thompson, also featured in Dick Whittington and was seen by almost 30,000 panto lovers.
Mr Spencer, who is also executive director of the Mill Dam venue, said: “We were delighted to have Courage on board for the pantomime, and thrilled to raise so much money for children around the North East who are in need of help.
“Our audience members are always extremely generous, but they have really surpassed themselves this year.
“I must say a special thank-you to all those who dug deep to help raise this fantastic sum.”
Cash For Kids helps to raise thousands of pounds for local children and young people suffering from abuse or neglect, who are disabled, have special needs, or who simply need extra care and guidance.
Ms Thompson said: “Cash For Kids are overwhelmed by the generous donations given by panto-goers at The Customs House this year.
“Thank you to everyone who donated and congratulations to The Customs House for such a fantastic show.
“We were delighted to be a part of it, especially our mascot Courage the Cat, who performed in each show.
“We didn’t expect such an impressive total and the money raised will make a real-life difference to children on our doorstep who desperately need support – we cannot thank you enough.”