Sister restaurants turn rivals to raise charity cash

Elaine Lee, left and Noel Stamp, right, of Portofino, with Sandra McCall of Hartlepool's NSPCC branch, centre.

Elaine Lee, left and Noel Stamp, right, of Portofino, with Sandra McCall of Hartlepool's NSPCC branch, centre.

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A restaurant has served up a cash donation to help a charity fund work with vulnerable children - and has pledged to continue the gesture.

Italian, Mediterranean and North African restaurant Portofino and its sister business, tapas venue Casa Del Mar, has run the cash collecting tradition annually for around 15 years.

We thought the charity we should help most should be the NSPCC because of the fact we know the money raised is going to help local children.

Krimo Bouabda

A raffle with a prize of a £50 meal voucher raised more than £640, which has been donated to the Hartlepool branch of the NSPCC.

The Hartlepool Marina restaurants are part of the Krimo’s group, run by Krimo Bouabda.

It was also run by his self-titled restaurant until it closed in 2014.

Krimo said: “The restaurants have a bit of competition among themselves to see who can raise the most and I think this year Portofino did it this year.

“I always love to ring the winner because I think sometimes they think it’s a hoax and when I hear their voice when they realise it isn’t, it’s good feeling.

“We started it because we wanted to do something for kids and the staff said let’s try and raise money.

“We thought the charity we should help most should be the NSPCC because of the fact we know the money raised is going to help local children.

“We will do it again.”

Customers were invited to by £1 tickets for the raffle at the end of their meal during the festive period.

Sandra McCall, the branch’s chairman, said: “We can’t do our work without donations, but we don’t ask them do to this, but they have done for years and it is marvellous.

“We are very grateful to Krimo, his staff and customers.”