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ONE of the North East’s biggest leisure operators has thrown its weight behind the British Transplant Games – and is now calling on diners to lend their support.

Teams from hospitals across the UK will take part in the games, held at venues within Newcastle and Gateshead from 30 July to 2 August, to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation and raise awareness of the need for organ donation.

The event, in its 30th year, is being held in the North East for the first time and now Newcastle-based Malhotra Group plc is calling on food lovers to join it in a bid to raise much needed funds for the cause.

From Monday 27July to Sunday 2nd August, its Scalini’s restaurants at Osborne Road, Jesmond and Three Mile Inn, Gosforth, will serve a specially created baby prawn and crab pappardelle pasta dish, with chilli, garlic, coriander, baby spinach and lemon grass oil.

And not only will five per cent of each £9.95 dish be donated straight to Transplant Sport, the charity behind the games, but the Malhotra Group will then match the final amount raised.

Graham Wylie, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the Transplant Games, said: “I would like to thank the chefs at Scalini’s for coming up with such a delicious dish.

“I’m confident it will help raise valuable funds in support of the games, but importantly, also raise awareness of the desperate need for more people to join the Organ Donor Register.

“It’s fantastic that Malhotra Group has joined a host of other corporate partners in supporting the British Transplant Games.

“To have the backing of the North East business community is vital to ensure the NewcastleGateshead Games are a huge success.”

Atul Malhotra, director of the Malhotra Group PLC, said: “We are proud to be associated with the games as it is important to raise awareness for such a worthy cause.

“An organ donor can prove to be the difference between life and death and, as CHUF – the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital – is our sponsored charity this year it makes sense to be a part of these games.”