A local company has brought some early Christmas cheer to children living in a part of Middlesbrough particularly hit by deprivation.

Health and safety building compliance company Eton Environmental Group approached its suppliers and clients to see if they would be willing to donate money for parcels to be given to children at the River Tees Multi-Academy Trust in the town’s Pallister Park.

It comes after the company was made aware of a shocking statistic which revealed that 64% of children in parts of Middlesbrough were living in poverty, with some families not even having toothbrushes in their households.

Following discussions with the head teacher of the school, Leanne Chilton, Eton which has its head office in Darlington, concentrated its efforts on helping some of the children living on or below the poverty line.

The children at the school were asked what they most wanted for Christmas and rather than sweets and toys, they chose fluffy socks, dressing gowns, toiletries, hats, scarves and gloves and toothbrushes.

This resulted in the compilation of a ‘wish list’ and Eton raised an amazing £3,210, which was enough to make up 107 parcels costing £30 each – enough for each child in the school to receive one.

Eton also bought £230 worth of pantomime tickets for the school.

Eton Environmental Group Directors Joanna and Christian Shaefer, who were both born in Middlesbrough, said: “We still have many friends and families in Middlesbrough; many of the staff we employ live in the town and we provide our health and safety consultancy services to businesses in the area, so it’s a place very close to our hearts.

“Living in poverty and not even having access to a toothbrush is shocking at any time of the year, but with the festive period approaching, it brings it into even sharper focus.

“So, we appealed to our suppliers and clients for any support they could give, and we were amazed by the response.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated; it means so much.”

Leanne said: ‘We are overwhelmed by the kindness of Eton Environmental Group, supporters and clients for their generous donations to pupils and their families during the festive period.

“We are looking forward to distributing the gifts which we are sure will be greatly appreciated by all.”