Caring Middlesbrough-based firm Charles Clinkard has shown local charities it’s a cut above when it comes to helping out in difficult times.

The national footwear retailer has been solving problems for a number of North East charities by donating thousands of pounds.

Gifts include providing a lawnmower and strimmer for Teesside Hospice to reduce maintenance costs, mountains of food for the King’s Church Food Bank in Darlington, craft materials for Teesside-based Autism Charity Daisy Chain and nightwear for patients at St Teresa’s Hospice, in Darlington.

Deborah Archer, facilities manager at Teesside Hospice, said: ”These are very challenging times for us and other charities – and although we hope for a quick return to normality there are no guarantees.

“The donations mean we can cut our own grass to keep the grounds neat and tidy for our patients and visitors, and use the budget we would have spent on other vital needs.

“We are very grateful for the support especially when we are aware that retail businesses have been hard hit too.”

Caroline Todd Manager of King’s Church food bank said: “The donation was a huge blessing – it meant we could help so many more people who have found themselves short of food through no fault of their own.”

Managing director, Charles Clinkard, said: “We are happy to help such wonderful organisations.

“We feel very lucky that we haven’t lost any members of our extended work family  and this is our way of saying thank you.

“The hospice is a vital part of the support network in Teesside proving assistance with a caring smile at all times.

“The fact that the hospice can maintain its own grounds means it will save money each month to spend on its valuable work.

“The food bank is run by volunteers, who do an amazing job for the less well off in the area.

“It has been a worrying time and no-one should have the additional anxiety of not having enough food for themselves and their families.”