A VOLUNTEER-LED organisation has raised money for worthy causes both home and away.

Through raffles and art exhibitions, Allendale Forge Studios has supported SEDCU (Supporting the Education of Disadvantaged Children in Uganda) and the West Northumberland Food Bank.

An exhibition of landscape paintings by the late David Almond, who spent time in Uganda, saw enough money raised to fund a year of a special needs degree course at a Ugandan university.

The money will also be able to provide specialist equipment needed by blind children in the classroom.

Meanwhile, the work of local artist John Fowler saw money raised for a Hexham-based food bank.

While John set up an exhibition, the forge organised a raffle with artistic prizes donated by members.

Thirty per cent of John’s proceeds from the exhibition, as well as 100 per cent, of the raffle ticket sales will help those experiencing financial hardship.

Allendale Forge Studios has also pledged to add a further 30 per cent of the gallery rental income to the cash donation.

Project manager Sam Gilchrist, of the West Northumberland Food Bank, said: “We were thrilled with the donation from John Fowler and the team at Allendale Forge.

"We have been helping around 100 households a week who are struggling to stay afloat with the soaring cost of living, energy price hikes, low wages and the end of the UC uplift.

"Forty-seven per cent of callers to our helpline have never used a food bank before. Along with organising food parcel deliveries, shopping vouchers, energy vouchers and hardship awards, our helpline team help people access other services - particularly benefits and debt advice.

"None of this would be possible without donations from kind and generous local people, who have helped us to support almost 1,000 people in the last eight months.”