Published: 21 Dec 2011

Panto stars from Darlington Civic Theatre teamed up with Jennings Motor Group and The Salvation Army to help create a magical Christmas for underprivileged people in the region.

When Jennings Motor Group and its network of Ford, Mazda, SEAT and Kia dealerships across the region agreed to support the Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal, they turned to Darlington Civic Theatre to see if the cast of this year’s Cinderella could assist.

Despite a rather hectic schedule, popular TV personality Ray Quinn, of X Factor and Dancing on Ice fame who plays Prince Charming, along with Emmerdale’s Deena Payne as the Fairy Godmother and legendary comedian Jimmy Cricket as Baron Hardup, took time out from the busy rehearsals to offer their support to the Appeal.

The Salvation Army is urging members of the public who want to make a donation to the Appeal, to do so before the deadline of Friday 16th December 2011. They are looking for unwrapped gifts for all ages, non perishable food items or cash donations to help those in need this Christmas.

“Since its official launch towards the end of November, we have once again had a tremendous response from the people of the North East, which is fantastic news for us and the people we aim to assist at this special time of year,” said Captain Howard Russell Divisional Director for Community Services.

Last year approximately 7000 children and 2000 families were supported with presents and a further 1000 individuals received food over the Christmas period.

For the past 13 consecutive years, Jennings Motor Group has supported the Appeal by using its branch network across the region as drop-off points for staff and members of the public.

Branches can be found at Yarm Road, Stockton; Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesbrough; Riverside Road, Sunderland; Parsons Road, Washington; Eslington Park Gateshead and Newcastle Road in South Shields.

Ray Riaz, general manager at Jennings Ford’s Yarm Road dealership in Stockton, said; “We were delighted that the cast of this year’s pantomime could help out with the Appeal. The Salvation Army does an absolutely amazing job helping those in the local community, not just at Christmas time but all year round.”

Cinderella will be appearing at Darlington Civic Theatre until Sunday 15 January 2012. Anyone who has not yet bought their tickets should telephone Darlington Civic Theatre on 01325 486 555 or visit the website at

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