PANTO star Charlie Richmond helped an historic Morpeth country estate to launch their Christmas gift appeal in aid of some of the North East’s neediest children.

The owners of Meldon Park country estate, near Morpeth, are urging customers to its Kitchen Garden Cafe to donate a brand new toy to its campaign on behalf of Barnardo’s North East.

Throughout November and early December, Emily and James Cookson are organising the collection of gifts, which will be distributed by Barnardo’s to bring Christmas cheer to young people up to the age of 16 from all over the region, from Berwick to Cleveland.

Visitors to Meldon Park’s Kitchen Garden Cafe are invited to drop off brand new toys to be collected and given to some of the 18,000 children and young people who Barnardo’s North East help each year.

Charlie, who will play Numpty Norman in the Tyne Theatre’s panto, Sleeping Beauty, launched the appeal at the Kitchen Garden Cafe.