Tyneside based international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) has kick started its 20th anniversary year by hosting a special event for those who have supported its work to provide sustainable sources of education to children living in poor and marginalised communities in East Africa.

Sixty guests attended COCO’s 20th anniversary launch which took place eat Brewin Dolphin’s offices in Newcastle, where they heard about some of the charity’s success stories from the past two decades, as well as how to get involved in a series of planned events and fundraising initiatives that aim to raise £400K throughout the year.

COCO was founded in August 2000 by Steve Cram CBE and British Army Major Jim Panton, and over the past 20 years has grown into one of the North East’s most dynamic and well-loved charities.  Since its inception, the charity has raised over £4.5 million to fund small, community led programmes.  Along with its partners COCO has now undertaken 66 transformational projects in 16 countries, positively impacting on the lives of over 200,000 people.

Key events taking place throughout 2020 to mark the 20th anniversary include the Africa 3 Peak challenge, snow-holing in the Cairngorms and the Victoria Cycle Challenge, as well as many opportunities to support the charity’s work closer to home such as Walk the Wall, a 17.5 mile walk along a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the SimplyHealth Great North Run, the Steve Cram Celebrity Golf Day and the annual COCO Ball.

Lucy Kendall, CEO of COCO, said: “2020 is a very special year for us as we celebrate 20 years of COCO. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two decades, but there is so much more that we want to achieve. We have developed an exciting programme of events to mark our anniversary year, including some amazing new challenges that we hope will whet the appetites of our supporters old and new, so that we can meet our fundraising goals and ensure that even more young people in marginalised communities get the best possible start in life.”

To find out more about the work of COCO or to donate visit www.coco.org.uk, find the charity on Facebook or follow @COCO_Charity on Twitter.