Getting Hartlepool youngsters out to the countryside

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The countryside is beckoning for more Hartlepool children thanks to a passionate group of campaigners.

The Friends of Carlton Camp is planning to get 60 youngsters from the town to the attraction at Carlton-in-Cleveland.

Michael Sumpter

Michael Sumpter

The Friends group was formed about a year ago. Its members are mainly Hartlepool people, former and present schoolteachers and business people including Michael Sumpter.

He said: “We are all passionate about Carlton and our main goal is to help those children from disadvantaged backgrounds, giving them every opportunity to attend the Carlton experience.” The trip will happen on Friday, July 17, and involves youngsters from Stranton Academy, Eskdale Academy and St Aidans.

Mr Sumpter added: “This is the first such trip we have ever done, so as you can imagine, everybody is so excited, the members and the children. To make this trip possible we have had to raise about £7,000 by raffles and donations.”

The charity is also looking forward to its official launch on August 1, with an awareness-raising event in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool.

This is the first such trip we have ever done, so as you can imagine everybody is so excited, the members and the children

Michael Sumpter

Mr Sumpter added: “We will continue to raise funds so we can repeat such weekends like the one in July, maybe even more than once a year,”

People can also find out more about the charity via its new website at www.friendsofcarlton.co.uk. It also includes a chance for people to donate to the cause by using the Just Giving tab.

Mr Sumpter hopes the charity can also support Carlton with funds for equipment and general upgrade for the site.