Almost 1,000 people who struggled to put food on the table throughout 2018 have received help from a hardworking duo and their army of volunteers in South Tyneside.
Hebburn Helps have revealed that last year the charity provided support to 944 adults and 426 children with everyday essentials and food parcels - up 160 from the previous year.
In the run-up to Christmas, Angie Comerford and Jo Durkin who founded the cause, upped their efforts in a bid to stem the worry faced by families in need over the festive season.
The pair worked flat out, alongside their helpers, sorting donations and delivering goodies which included more than 153 Christmas dinners for struggling families, more than 168 food hampers for the elderly, 120 blessing bags filled with toiletries to the homeless, provided 15 hampers for dogs and four for cats and ensured 434 children woke up on Christmas Day to a variety of presents.
Over the past year the team have been inundated with donations from people and businesses from across South Tyneside and beyond to make what they do possible.
Angie who founded the cause alongside Jo, said: “Thank you and to say we are so grateful just doesn’t seem to cut it. But without the support of people and businesses in South Tyneside we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
The response has been overwhelming.Angie Comerford
“The response, last year and in particular in the run up to Christmas, has been overwhelming. We’ve had bikes donated and the donations of gifts and food have really left us speechless.
“We have been overwhelmed by the number of children who have been coming in with donations - it has been unbelievable.”
She added: “Until you are in that situation, you don’t really know just how dark a place it can be and if you have children, it can be even worse.
“As a parent you just want to do your best for them. No one asks to be in that situation and this universal credit is having a real impact on people’s lives.
“The showing of I, Daniel Blake really put it out there just how dire a situation some people can find themselves in.
“And it makes you realise just how valuable every donation we receive is, to the people it ends up with.
“We are going to keep plodding on with what we are doing and hopefully people will continue to get behind us in the year ahead.”
For information or to contact Hebburn Helps visit hebburnhelps.co.uk