SHEILA Grundy, treasurer of the church and community magazine for Aldbrough St John, Melsonby and Forcett parishes, handed over a cheque for £75 to Tracy Freeman, chief officer of First Stop Darlington, after a recent Sunday morning service in Aldbrough St John.

This sum was part of the proceeds of the community Christmas card delivered with the magazine in December. As well as making a donation to the card, people are asked to suggest a local charity and First Stop was one suggested by readers.

At the invitation of the Reverend Ian Hunter-Smart, who is taking occasional services at the church while it is without its own dedicated vicar, Mrs Freeman came to talk about the work of the charity in helping the homeless in place of the usual sermon. The charity’s support extends much wider than simply finding clients somewhere to live.

The community magazine has also sent cheques of £75 to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which rescued a reader injured while walking in the Dales some months ago, and £50 to the Churches Conservation Trust, which has care of the redundant church building at Stanwick St John and who operates as a conservation, rather than a religious, charity looking after over 340 historic churches in England.