FAMILIES in crisis will have a better Christmas thanks to the generosity of workers at one of Sunderland’s largest employers.

Staff at Castletown pump manufacturer Grundfos collected food, toiletries and more than £900 in donations to give to Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen and at the same time raised £600 for Wearside charity Norah’s North Pole which fills sacks with toys for children who otherwise would go without presents.

Grundfos have supported Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen for several years, though it is the first time they’ve raised money for Nora’s North Pole.

Catherine Attwell, HR Director at Grundfos, explained: “We’re delighted to be helping the soup kitchen again this year – it’s an important charity doing some great work in the city and I’d like to thank our team for their generosity. We’ve been collecting cash donations, food and toiletries for a few weeks and people have added items bought during their regular shopping.

“It’s the first time we’ve supported Norah’s North Pole – the charity was suggested by a member of our HR team.

“We hope we’ll bring some Christmas cheer to local families who need a bit of support.”

As well as providing support for those in need, Grundfos workers have been taking part in an internal mission to find a Naughty Elf.

“The Naughty Elf is a competition, but also a health and safety reminder to our teams. There are some health and safety clues to help find the elf, and whoever finds him wins a small prize and items are also donated to the Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen. It’s a bit of fun, but with some important safety messages and has made meaningful contributions to charity,” explained Catherine.

Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen has been supporting local people since it opened in July 2019. The soup kitchen is based in Hendon and predominantly covers that area, as well as Grangetown and Pallion – but has been spreading its coverage. If you would like to make a donation you can find contact details on Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen’s Facebook page.

Norah’s North Pole is based in the Marine Activities Centre on Sunderland Marina and was set up in 2015 in memory of grandma Norah Wilkinson who used to help her grandchildren make Christmas boxes for children who otherwise would go without her. Norah’s daughter, a social worker, would then distribute the boxes to families in need

Grundfos, a Danish company, is the world’s leading pump manufacturer and employs more than 18,000 people globally. It opened a Wearside plant in 1973 and now employs nearly 170 people at its Castletown site.