THE SPIRIT of giving is alive and well in Sunderland, with generous shoppers helping to support a whole range of charitable causes.

From October to December the Bridges supported and hosted a number of initiatives to help raise money for a whole host of organisations in the city.

And that led to a staggering donation of more than £110,000 in cash and kind which was and will be used to help a number of worthy charities.

More than £80,000 worth of gifts for children were donated to the Sun FM Toy Appeal, which has collection points across the city centre, with the Bridges a main drop off point.

Collectors for the Poppy Appeal raised £15,897 while the St Benedict’s Hospice Dedication Tree brought in £10,722 which will go towards supporting the vital service.

Donations to the Bridges’ Santa’s Grotto amounted to £3534, which will be given to the city’s SR1 Rotary Club to distribute to a range of good causes across Sunderland.

“The generosity of our shoppers is never short of staggering and we’re very appreciative of how much they’ve given once again,” said Andy Bradley, the Bridges’ centre director.

“At the busiest – and often the most expensive – time of year they have still thought about other people and dug deep.

“We are very grateful, as are all the worthy causes which have benefited.”

Simon Grundy, from Sun FM, also thanked everyone who had donated toys.

“The toy appeal has meant we were able to make a real difference to children who weren’t as fortunate as others,” said Simon.

Co-presenter, Lauren McLeish, added “we would like to thank everyone who donated and to let them know that they helped make Christmas very special for a whole host of young people.”