Hebburn Helps to provide isolation packs for those affected by coronavirus

A South Tyneside food bank is to start providing care packages to those who are self-isolating due to coronavirus.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 8:11 pm

As the Covid-19 pandemic reaches its peak in the UK over the coming weeks, Hebburn Helps food bank and crisis response centre are preparing to support those affected.

Volunteers will be distributing isolation packs to those who are unable to leave their homes, as the numbers continue to rise across the country.

To date there are 1,391 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK and 35 people have died from the virus.

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Hebburn Helps co-founders Angie Comerford (left) and Jo Durkin.

The food bank, in Campbell Park Road is currently running as normal, but volunteers are preparing the packs and could be delivering them in the community within weeks.

Hebburn Helps co-founder, Jo Durkin said: "We should have a plan of action in place by the end of next week.

“If people need our help they can still go through the normal procedure but if we start delivering packages now we would run out of food within a week.

“If the country goes into lockdown, that is when our services would be needed the most.”

The isolation packs will include food and other essential items for those who have tested positive for Covid-19 or are self-isolating.

Food banks are feeling the strain as people stockpile items such as soap, sanitiser, toilet roll and dry goods.

“It’s a bit of a worrying time,” said co-founder Angie Comerford.

“We’re just grateful for anything we can get our hands on at the minute and people are being so generous which is amazing.”

The founders say they could be forced to rely on the help of the local community to deliver the packages if things continue to worsen, but that the necessary protocols, such as DBS checks, will need to be followed.

“Half of our team are over 70, if they have to go into self-isolation we don’t know how we are going to manage,” Angie continued.

“We have already had messages from a lot of people offering to help, but we have to be mindful of making sure everyone has had the necessary checks or you could do more harm than good.”

She added: “As always a massive thank you to the community for getting behind everything that we do.

“Please continue to donate what you can so at least we have stock coming in.”

A full list of items provided by Hebburn Helps that can be donated for the isolation packs is as follows:

Non-perishables:

UHT milk

Tins:Meat (mince, stewed steak, meatballs, potatoes, hotdogs, corned beef etc.)Fish (tuna, mackerel, sardines)CustardRice puddingSoupBeansSpaghetti hoopsFruitTomatoesVegetables

Jars:Pasta sauceCurry sauceJamSandwich spreadMeat pastes

Dry Food:

Instant mashRicePastaInstant noodledTea bagsCoffeeSugarBiscuitsGravy granulesCrackersRice cakesFruit juiceBaby foodCereals

Also:Margarine/ButterBread

Toiletries:ToothpasteToilet rollsShower gelHand soapBaby wipesNappiesSanitary productsDeodorantWashing powder

Hebburn Helps is based on Campbell Park Rd, Hebburn, NE31 1QY.

Contact 0191 489 9707.