Hospital staff backing South Tyneside food bank

Debra Hepburn, of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, with some of the donations for the South Tyneside Food Bank
Debra Hepburn, of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, with some of the donations for the South Tyneside Food Bank

Caring health staff are supporting a charity’s efforts to help prevent children and their families in South Tyneside going hungry during the school holidays.

Staff at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust have been donating food items, as well as other essentials such as toiletries, to a South Tyneside food bank, which is run by the charity Hospitality and Hope.

Donations are coming in from many areas of the Trust, including South Tyneside District Hospital and community health service bases such as St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Specialist Palliative Care in Sunderland.

Debra Hepburn, PA for clinical services at the hospital, who is co-ordinating the collection, said: “The response from staff has been fantastic. Not a day goes by without people bringing in more items. In some cases, they do a specific shop and bring in a bagful. They say they just hope that their donations can make a difference.”

South Tyneside Food Bank, which is run primarily by volunteers, helps vulnerable individuals and families. All donations are much appreciated, however, tinned rice, tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned fish, long life milk and toiletries are desperately needed.

The food bank’s operations and development manager Paul Oliver said: “Referrals to us have gone up 45% over the last year and demand is always particularly high in the long school holidays when children are not receiving free school meals. It is vital that people help us by donating when they can and we are very grateful for the kindness of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust staff.”

Anyone wishing to donate can contact Hospitality and Hope by phone on 0191 4203336, email info@hospitalityandhope.co.uk or via Facebook www.facebook.com/hospitalityandhope and Twitter @HospitalityHope