Demand is growing for South Shields homeless charity

Deputy Mayor Coun Alan Smith, with Mayoress, wife Coun Moira Smith, Ameilia Luffrum and Asda's Stuart Craig and Mavis Maughan.
Deputy Mayor Coun Alan Smith, with Mayoress, wife Coun Moira Smith, Ameilia Luffrum and Asda's Stuart Craig and Mavis Maughan.

A vital South Tyneside charity helping to cope with a growing homeless problem in the borough is continuing its fundraising crusade.

South Shields-based Hospitality and Hope runs food and clothing banks and soup kitchens for the needy.

The number of people we helped doubled

Amelia Luffurum

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.

It recently completed a complete revamp of the kitchen at Hampden Street – paid for by a £25,000-plus donation from the Asda supermarket chain.

But the charity, which over the last year has helped 1,500 clients in need – twice as many as the year before – is not resting on its laurels.

South Tyneside’s food banks saw a 50% increase in usage last year, with demand is expected to grow still further.

The volunteers who run it are in the midst of raising a further £10,000 to pay for a new shower room.

Meanwhile, the charity has also announced the first winner of its ‘volunteer of the year’ award.

Joe Winder, the food bank manager, was bestowed the honour for his work overseeing the “massive operation” of the transfer from Brinkburn to the new facility.

Amelia Luffram, a project co-ordinator for Hospitality and Hope, said: “Last year the number of people we helped doubled .

“We appreciate the public’s help and we have a particular need at the moment for sturdy clothes rails, if anyone can help.”

To donate or for more information, call 07847 254083.