A “SPECIAL” couple have been praised by a charity for raising more than £100,000 for good causes over their lifetime.

Kevin and Kathleen Haigh have been raising cash for aid agency CAFOD ever since marrying 45 years ago.

The couple, who live in Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, have put on fundraising events every year since signing up to volunteer for CAFOD in 1971.

“We have found many different ways of raising funds and awareness - we have held auctions, sponsored walks, had soup for tea afternoons on a Friday and sung carols in Gateshead’s Metro Centre since it was built,” said Mr Haigh.

Despite already raising thousands of pounds, the couple have committed to continue their work.

“We will continue to do whatever work we can whilst we have the strength,” he added.

Chris Bain, CAFOD’s director, said the funds raised by the couple will help them to ensure that communities who are living in poverty are equipped with the “skills and opportunities they need to live with dignity, to support their families and to give something back to their communities”.

"To volunteer for ten years would be special but 45 years is exceptional,” said Mr Bain.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to Kathleen and Kevin, to give up so much of your spare time to help others is truly special.

“Volunteering is something that really will change you - you are doing something that eventually will do massive good to people both in your community but also throughout the world.”

"We hope these remarkable volunteers spend many more happy years with CAFOD.”

To find out more about volunteering with CAFOD, visit www.cafod.org.uk/volunteer.