Hebburn Helps continue fight to find new home

Hebburn Helps Angie Comerford and Jo Durkin outside the former library where they had hoped to set up home
Hebburn Helps Angie Comerford and Jo Durkin outside the former library where they had hoped to set up home

A community group which helps families in need is in talks with council chiefs in a bid to find a new base.

Hebburn Helps is currently based in the children’s centre in the town’s Campbell Park Road.

This time of year is crucial for us and having the extra space means we can continue to take in donations to help make Christmas a little better for those families in need.

Angie Comerford

In the past year, the group has become a victim of its own success, as it continues to be inundated with donations.

With Christmas just around the corner, founders Angie Comerford and Jo Durkin, were worried the base they had would no longer be fit for purpose.

Unable to turn away donations, a petition was launched in a bid to save the former Hebburn Library building from bulldozers and turn it into their new headquarters.

It was signed by more than 900 people in less than 72 hours.

Read more: Hebburn Helps nominated for Best of South Tyneside award

But after it was submitted to the council, it was later withdrawn by the pair, as dialogue between themselves and the council has been opened with a view to helping them find a more suitable venue to call their own.

Angie Comerford said: “We don’t have the luxury of being able to turn away donations. Everything we receive is passed on to families and people in need, which is why we need to have the storage.

“We have withdrawn the petition and are currently in talks with the council to see what can be done in the future to accommodate us.

“In the meantime, we have been given some extra roooms within the children’s centre which has helped us a lot in being able to clear some space to enable us to work a lot more efficiently.

“This time of year is crucial for us and having the extra space means we can continue to take in donations to help make Christmas a little better for those families in need.

“We would like to thank everyone for their continued support.”

Established three years ago, it runs a food bank and support families in need.

South Tyneside Council said it recognised the positive work Hebburn Helps does and that it had supported its work when possible.

For details visit hebburnhelps.co.uk/