EXPANSION is in store for a charity offering support to some of South Tyneside’s most vulnerable citizens, thanks to a £25,000-plus grant from a supermarket chain.
South Shields-based Hospitality and Hope runs food and clothing banks and soup kitchens for the needy.
It recently moved from Brinkburn Community Centre and the Living Waters Church at Rekendyke in South Shields into the town’s former Hampden Street Day Centre, closed in 2013 as part of a reorganisation of South Tyneside Council’s day services.
And it has now been further boosted by an Asda Community Foundation donation of £25,274 to pay for improvements to its new home.
The cash will help cover the cost of kitchen units, flooring and window shutters.
That will enable, in due course, all the charity’s services to be housed under one roof.
Amelia Luffram, a project co-ordinator for Hospitality and Hope, described the donation as a blessing and thanked Tracey Tough, a community champion at Asda’s Boldon Colliery store for her support in submitting the application that secured the money.
Amelia said: “We already have close ties with Asda as they provide us with food donations.
“The amount we have been granted was the full amount we asked for.
“They loved the project, and we’re delighted with the support.
“It is a huge boost for us and brings closer the day when everything will be under one roof – the clothing bank, the food bank and the soup kitchens.
“This has enabled us to get on with the work much quicker than if we had just been relying on our own fundraising efforts. It’s a blessing.”
The service provided by Hospitality and Hope is set to be in increasing demand following its move and revamp.
South Tyneside’s food banks saw a 50 per cent increase in usage last year, and with planned welfare cuts of £12bn over the next five years, demand is expected to grow.