Film inspires Hebburn volunteers to launch new service

Angie Comerford, left, and Jo Durkin from Hebburn Helps
Angie Comerford, left, and Jo Durkin from Hebburn Helps

A hit film has led to a South Tyneside volunteer-led organisation launching a weekly wellbeing drop-in service for women.

Jo Durkin and Angie Comeford were so moved by a scene in the movie I Daniel Blake - based on a widower’s battle with the welfare system after a heart attack leaves him unable to work.

The scene features a woman who is forced into stealing sanitary protection.

They decided to offer the service as part of the Hebburn food bank.

The bank, based at South Tyneside Children’s Centre, in Campbell Park Road, Hebburn, already provides items to families in need.

Jo said: “When we saw the film, the scene in which a woman was forced to steal sanitary protection because they didn’t offer it at the food bank really hit home.

“No one should have to be forced into stealing this kind of thing or have to go without food to afford it.

“We put out an appeal for items and have now set up a weekly drop-in for women where they can come in and be given free help.”

The wellbeing Wednesday drop-in service takes place 10am until 4pm.

She added: “We have had a few women come in and we are starting to get the message out there about what we are doing. It is totally confidential. We have chosen the Wednesday to highlight what we are doing, but women can call in Monday to Friday if they need to.”

Hebburn Helps, run by volunteers was set up in 2015.

The group relies heavily on donations from the public and businesses to survive.

Hebburn Helps is open Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm for people and for donations to be dropped off.