A leading rugby league volunteer is to help give away £1million to good causes.
Jeff Ball, chairman of Cramlington Rockets, has been appointed as a judge on the Aviva Community Fund.
A total of 691 finalists were chosen following a public vote in November, with the judges selecting in January those who will receive between £1,000 and £25,000.
The Rockets secured a £25,000 grant from the Fund in 2015, one of only three special judges awards given that year.
The funding boost was used to develop Rockets Community, the club’s community arm that has been a huge success.
Ball will be able to use his experience as a judge.
As a co-founder of the North East Charity Awards, one of the biggest award ceremonies in the region, he has sat on its judging panel for the last two years due to his role as a charity investment specialist at Wealth Manager, Brewin Dolphin.
Ball said: “I am extremely excited to be involved in this year’s judging panel.
“Winning the grant from Aviva in 2015 was transformational for our community activity so it is nice to be able to give something back to help other good causes.
“We have developed a good relationship with Aviva since we won and were part of the national launch campaign for 2016.
“I’m sure it is going to be very difficult to pick the winners as there are a lot of strong entries but whoever wins I’m sure will make a real difference in their community.”