LAKESIDE have struck up an exciting partnership with a well-loved charity, which helps underprivileged children to achieve their aspirations through performing arts and sport.

The Karis May Darling Foundation, based in Corringham, was set up in 2011 by the family and friends of 12-year old Karis, who died when she contracted streptococcal A and developed meningitis.

Her family decided to donate her organs, saving five people’s lives in the process.

In 2014 the foundation, who also raise awareness of the benefits of organ donation, opened a community centre which has a diner, coffee shop, multi-purpose hall, sound-proofed music room and football pitch.

The new 18-month partnership will enable Lakeside to fundraise for the charity, and promote it to its millions of visitors, significantly raising its profile.

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The centre will also provide advice and raffle prizes over the course of the partnership, while its employees – who selected the charity for the partnership – will give up their time to volunteer when opportunities arise.

John Darling, chairman, said: "This will do an incredible amount of good for a wonderful cause and will help so many families locally. Thank you, Lakeside. We are looking forward to seeing what the next 18 months will bring.”