The organisers of a charity shopping event supported by hundreds of people from across the North East and beyond have announced that last year’s event was the most successful ever.

The 2016 Durham Shopping Extravaganza, which is held annually in October, raised a total of £25,071, with a number of charities benefiting from the proceeds.

It takes the total raised at the DSE over the last 28 years to over £425,000 with more than 90 charities based in and around County Durham receiving donations.

Nicky Swan, co-chair of the Durham Shopping Extravaganza, said: “We are blown away with the total raised and want to say a huge thank you to our shoppers for supporting the event.

“Having started 28 years ago, we are one of the original charity fairs and ten per cent of everything spent goes straight to our charities along with 100 per cent of our entrance money, raffle and tombola sales. It is so rewarding to see how the money is used by deserving charities on our doorstep.”

Following donations of £19,500 made before Christmas to St Teresa’s Hospice, in Darlington, Weardale-based Tabitha’s Toys and If U Care Share Foundation, based in Chester-le-Street, three rural lunch clubs have received £2,000 each.

Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS), in Middleton-in-Teesdale, Park View Community Centre in Chester-le-Street and Darlington Assistance for Refugees have also received £1,000 each.

St John Ambulance received £500 in recognition of its valuable presence during the two-day event, which was held at Ramside Hall Hotel.

The Durham Shopping Extravaganza is organised and run by a dedicated team of volunteers and was supported last year by sponsors BHP Law, Brewin Dolphin, Lycetts, ParlandPlowden Chambers and Sherwoods.

Nicky added: “We are exceedingly grateful to all our sponsors and donors, without whom the event would not take place. In addition, we receive all sorts of support, from raffle prizes to free glasses of wine for our shoppers, help with printing and the subsidising of our venue costs.”

This year’s Durham Shopping Extravaganza takes place on October 4 and 5, at Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham and the team are appealing for new sponsors. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Nicky Swan at enquiries@durhamshoppingextravaganza.co.uk