Help charity pot

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A RESTAURATEUR is urging diners to help raise some festive cheer for disadvantaged children this Christmas.

Krimo Bouabda holds a raffle at his three Hartlepool Marina eateries every year for the NSPCC.

Last year, visitors to Portofino, Casa del Mar and Krimo’s helped raise an impressive £1,800 for the children’s charity.

That took Krimo’s total fundraising to over £20,000 in the 12 years he has run the competition, which sees three £50 meal vouchers put up for grabs.

Krimo said: “It’s all about children at Christmas so supporting a charity like the NSPCC makes perfect sense.

“We have a good relationship with the local branch and they are always grateful for the money that we raise.

“I love doing it and see it as a challenge every year. We push the staff to try and sell as many as they can and we play restaurants off against each other.

“It’s a lot of fun and we are determined to beat last year’s total.”

The Algerian-born businessman was concerned that the current economic climate would see diners becoming more reluctant to take part, but he says it has had the opposite effect.

Krimo added: “We were worried with the credit crunch that we would struggle to sell the tickets, but we have actually raised more.

“When people feel the pinch they seem to donate more because they know there are people out there struggling even more than they are.

“The people of Hartlepool are always very generous and kind-hearted. They get into the festive spirit and feel they are doing their bit to help.”

The raffle will start at the beginning of December and run into the New Year.

The NSPCC offers a range of services from advice and support to campaigning and education activities to help children suffering from abuse and neglect.