South Tyneside food bank calls for soap and sanitiser donations to fight spread of coronavirus

A South Tyneside food bank is appealing for donations of soap and hand sanitiser as coronovirus continues to spread in the UK.

Hebburn Helps food bank has been advised to ensure that every food parcel given out to residents now includes a bar of soap in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

Co-founder Angie Comerford stressed that although the risk to individuals remains low, they were required to take precautions to protect the ‘vulnerable’ people who use the food bank regularly.

Hebburn Helps has appealed for soaps and sanitiser donations.

A post on the Hebburn Helps Facebook page on Tuesday, March 3, stated: “Although the Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate, this has been done so that the Government can plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

“As a precaution we have been advised to make sure all food parcels contain a bar of soap and also to try and stock up on sanitiser hand gels and calpol.

“We would really appreciate it when out shopping could you consider purchasing any of these items for us so we can protect the most vulnerable in our community.”

The team is also encouraging everyone who uses the service to wash their hands regularly.


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Angie Comerford co-founder of Hebburn Helps.

Angie said: “It’s just about taking precautions.

“We have some elderly volunteers and some of us have existing health conditions, so it is a big worry in terms of staffing but not everybody is going to get seriously ill, the regular flu kills more people than coronavirus.”

She added: “As always we would be really grateful for any donations.”


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The NHS advises washing hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds and using hand sanitiser gel if not available to avoid catching and spreading the illness.

Donations can be made via the Hebburn Helps Amazon wish list or dropped at the centre on Campbell Park Rd.