A Hartlepool businessman has been honoured for a lifelong commitment to helping children’s charities.
Mick Sumpter of MKM Building Supplies in Burn Road was presented with a Teesside Hero Award from the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
It is in recognition of his support for a wide range of charities both locally and in Romania.
His efforts have helped to raise more than £200,000 in memory of his friend Kay Smith to support families affected by cancer, with the charity covering the salary costs of a children’s bereavement counsellor at Hartlepool’s Alice House Hospice.
And Mick travels to Romania at least twice a year to give his time and labour skills to support two centres for children with Downs Syndrome and other disabilities.
He said he was inspired to help others, especially young people, by guidance he received from teachers and employers.
Mick, 56, is also a trustee for Carlton Camp; a director of Hartlepool’s Stranton Academy Trust; chairman of the The Haven, a free and confidential counselling, information and support group for young people; and a trustee of Hartlepool NDC Trust regeneration project that provides construction opportunities for young people.
He said: “I’ve always liked to do things for children. I was a poor performer at school and there are so many kids in a similar situation, who need plenty of help, support and guidance from the people around them.”
But he is most proud of his work for more than 20 years in Romania.
“There’s a bunch of local guys that have been giving up their time to fundraise and go out there and help all we can,” he said.
“What we do there has a massive impact on the lives of those young people.”
On his award he added: “It’s nice to get a bit of recognition and a pat on back for what you’ve done, but I’m honestly more focused on what I’m doing for others.”