Befriend a Child has received a £35,000 boost to its Save our Smiles campaign (SOS).
The charity has been given the money by Apache to help its vital befriending service.
Befriend a Child matches disadvantaged children with an adult volunteer who acts as a positive role model.
Throughout summer, the charity has been attempting to raise £100,000 to secure its befriending service with its SOS campaign. The Evening Express has backed the campaign and highlighted the good work of the organisation to encourage more people to donate.
The cash gift came about after Stephanie Grundy, a member of staff with oil company Apache, nominated the charity for backing.
Richard Stewart, head of marketing, fundraising and external affairs with Befriend a Child, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to work with such a forward-thinking, community-minded organisation as Apache. When I took the call with news of the gift I actually choked, £35,000 is a massive amount for Befriend a Child to receive and on behalf of everyone at the charity I want to thank Apache for their generosity and Stephanie for being a wonderful ambassador for our cause.
“Using the funds will allow us to deliver over £200,000 worth of benefit to local children – just imagine how many smiles that will create. That’s a great legacy everyone at Apache can be proud of.”
The gift brings the charity’s fundraising total to £85,000.
An Apache spokeswoman said: “Stephanie first became aware of Befriend a Child when she read an article regarding their need for new befrienders. Hearing they were unable to provide support to many because there were not enough volunteers available gave her the motivation to become a befriender and she has been a volunteer for over a year.
“Being a befriender made her appreciate the amazing work that the charity does and the benefits that it has on each child.”