A CHRISTMAS appeal by the region’s oldest children’s charity saw £33,000 worth of gifts donated to families in need.

Children North East’s Giving Tree Appeal has been running for over 16 years, distributing toys, gifts and food to disadvantaged children, young people and families throughout the region,

Businesses, members of the public, churches and local community groups donated thousands of gifts which went directly to the families supported by the charity.

Senior fundraiser Carol Taylor said: “Our 2016 Giving Tree Appeal received an amazing response, and the amount of gifts, toys and food received alongside very generous monetary donations has been overwhelming.

“In addition, gift voucher donations for food and experiences have helped to ease the pressures on the families we work with during the Christmas period and in the months to come.”

Last year, the charity celebrated its 125th anniversary, with records of gifts being given at Christmas time going back as far as 1891.

During 2015/2016, Children North East supported more than 6,600 children and young people across the region.