Hebburn Helps food bank moves to bigger premises to offer more support

A well-used South Tyneside food bank has moved to a bigger premises in order to help more people.

Hebburn Helps has moved to 14 St John’s Precinct in Hebburn Shopping Centre which has allowed them to expand their operations. The larger premises will allow them to reach out to more families in need.

The charity works closely with local schools and authorities to ensure food is available for the most vulnerable people in the community.

Hebburn Helps took over three empty shops which will now house the food bank, a fundraising charity shop as well as a space which will be used for drop-ins and adult learning. The annual Christmas appeal, which sees struggling families receive a Christmas dinner, hamper and children’s gifts, will be run from the first floor.

Cllrs Tracey Dixon, Moira Smith and Joan Atkinson with Hebburn Help’s Jo Durkin, Cheryl Murphy and Alison Wilson

Jo Durkin, co-founder of Hebburn Helps who works as a team leader, said: “It was great to have the councillors come and see our new premises. The Council has always been very supportive of our work and the Members understand the struggles many in our communities face on a day to day basis.

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“In addition to providing emergency food parcels, our new site will allow us to engage more directly with local communities, providing basic life skills, companionship and a listening ear – all aimed at restoring people's dignity and self-worth.

Councillors have paid a visit the new premises and to thank staff for their hard work they do for families across South Tyneside.

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Cllr Moira Smith, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Co-operatives and Partnerships, said: “We know that those who were already struggling have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. The work carried out by food banks such as Hebburn Helps has always been important but with the added challenges of Covid it is now more desperately needed than ever before.

“It is wonderful that Hebburn Helps has now found such large and central premises, making it so much more accessible to more people.”

Hebburn Helps is open Monday to Friday 9.15am to 2pm. Anyone who wants to find out more or volunteer is asked to contact [email protected]

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