Our Hospitals Charity – formerly South Tees Hospitals Charity – has been awarded £1,000 from Darlington Building Society’s community 5% fund.

It will help towards providing sensory and therapeutic equipment for the new unit when it opens at The James Cook University Hospital in July.

The unit has been purpose-built to treat children and young people from all around the Tees Valley, and is only the second of its kind in the North-East – the other one being in Newcastle.

Despite the economic challenges of the pandemic, Darlington Building Society will this year donate £60,000 to worthy organisations from profits generated during 2020.

And County Durham Community Foundation, which administers the 5% fund on behalf of the society, has announced it will make an additional donation to bring the total handed out to at least £100,000.

The organisations to benefit from the 2020 profits so far are: Butterwick Hospice Care; Darlington CAP Debt Centre; South Tees Hospitals Charity; Hartlepool Special Needs Group; Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club; Yarm Wellness Centre; Spennymoor Town Band; the Allstars Netball Team, from Hartlepool; and Skelton United Football Club. More beneficiaries will be announced later this year.

Ben Murphy, head of Our Hospitals Charity, said: “It’s great that James Cook Hospital has got this new facility for our children and young people, enabling us to provide the very best for them.

“Urgent and Emergency Care can be a frightening place to be, especially if you are a child who is in pain. Hopefully, the support the charity provides will improve their experience.

“We are delighted that Darlington Building Society is helping us by supporting our appeal for funding, This grant will go towards buying things like sensory toys and therapeutic equipment which will help to distract children when they are scared or in pain.”