The plight of children whose families have been struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic touched the hearts of people across the country, particularly in the run-up to half term.

One youngster from Prudhoe was so affected by the stories she had heard, she decided to do something about it – and has now raised more than £1,000 for a local charity that provides help and support to those families.

The Hexham Courant launched a new feature in April with the aim of recognising the achievements of those who have gone above and beyond for their communities during the Covid-19 crisis.

This week, the winner of the title is 13-year-old Maddie Chilton, whose tie-dyed face masks have proved hugely popular with the people of Prudhoe and beyond.

Maddie charges £5 for the colourful custom masks, with all the proceeds going towards the Miner’s Lamp Community Hub, to support the work of its food bank and the supply of meals for children in the school holidays.

People can specify what colour they would like, or allow Maddie to choose.

Maddie’s mum, Amy, spoke of her pride for her daughter.

She said: “It’s so lovely. She’s raised so much money. I’m very proud of her, she’s just incredible.

“I bought her a tie dye kit and I went out with one of the masks she made and people started wanting them.

“I was thinking we might sell 10 or 20, but she’s up to about 220 now.

“Her aim was to make £100, but she’s made about £1,100 now.

“It’s just brilliant and it’s for a cause that’s well-needed. The community have been absolutely incredible, but the masks have gone all over the world – even to Australia.”

Maddie has managed the entire operation and even has a spreadsheet to keep track of her orders.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, and have seen her rewarded with a community champion award from Hexham MP Guy Opperman.

Amy was particularly pleased with her daughter’s choice of charity, which she made due to its local links.

She continued: “She picked the Miner’s Lamp because there’s been lots of talk about children not being fed in the holidays.

“She’s realised she lives quite a privileged life, she’s quite lucky and it broke her heart when she saw their stories.

“She said she needed to do something.

“At the start of lockdown, she raised £125 for the NHS by selling stickers, but after seeing how much they got from Captain Tom Moore she wanted to do something close to home, and that she knew was going back into the community.”

Maddie’s face masks can be ordered via Amy’s Facebook page.