Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Northern Rock charity gives 2.7m

Northern Rock sign
Northern Rock charity has donated 190m in the last 10 years

The charitable arm of struggling bank Northern Rock has donated grants of 2.7m to charities across Cumbria and the north east of England.

The Northern Rock Foundation cash will help poverty-stricken families and disadvantaged young people.

It will also be used to support the homeless and those facing discrimination in the region.

Contact a Family, a charity for parents with disabled children, won the largest grant of 233,252.

The trustees of Northern Rock Foundation have pledged to continue supporting charitable causes and hope to award up to 11.3m to the North East and Cumbria in 2009.

'Huge difference'

Tyne and Wear based charity, Fairbridge, received 142,300 for its personal development projects for young people.

People living in hostels across the North East will benefit from a grant of 160,000 to Norcare, a project designed to boost people's self-confidence.

Alistair Balls, chairman of Northern Rock Foundation, said: "The trustees are delighted to announce these latest awards from the foundation.

"Contact a Family is an excellent example of the kind of organisation we support, and where the charitable sector's expertise and hard work makes a huge difference to the lives of people disadvantaged by poverty, age and difficult circumstances."

There were concerns about the foundation's income, after its funder, crisis-hit Northern Rock, was nationalised in February 2008.

As part of the arrangement with the Government the charity will receive a minimum of 15m annually until 2010.

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