Hebburn Helps launches Christmas appeals as South Tyneside faces tough festive season

A food bank and crisis response team is urging people to help those in need as it launches its annual Christmas appeal.

Hebburn Helps, which has been in operation since 2015, provides food parcels and crisis support for vulnerable members of the community in South Tyneside.

As the UK faces a cost of living crisis, the voluntary community organisation is once again asking people to help others this Christmas.

Each year the team runs appeals over the Christmas period to help shine a light on an already difficult time for families financially.

Hebburn Helps founder Angie Comerford and volunteer Alison Wilson (R) annual Christmas appeal for food and toys.

The appeals include ‘Sponsor an OAP’’ where individuals are allocated an older person to buy a Christmas gift for, and a reverse advent calendar which involves putting an item of food into a hamper each day for 25 days making up a food parcel.

Alongside making up food parcels, people can also get involved in sponsoring a family for Christmas dinner which involves donating items such as joints of meat and vegetables.

The most popular appeal of all is the toy appeal, which ensures even the most vulnerable children in the area have gifts to open on Christmas Day.

In 2021, some 10,000 toys were gifted in the community for children from birth to 16-years-old.

Hebburn Helps founder Angie Comerford annual Christmas appeal for food and toys.

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Angie Comerford, co-founder of Hebburn Helps, said: “I am really worried about how many people will struggle this year with the rising cost-of-living and energy bills and how it’s going to impact their Christmas.

"This is why we launch appeals like this to help vulnerable people in the community. Many people will have to choose between heating and eating this winter and the thought of Christmas just adds to the stress.

"Without the support of individuals and businesses so many children would go without a present to open on Christmas Day. Just having food on the table or a gift to open can mean the world to people that rely on our appeals.”

Hebburn Helps annual Christmas appeal for food and toys.

The team at Hebburn Helps urges any individuals or businesses who can help out to do so and help make a difference in the community.

Anyone who would like to get involved in the appeals can do so by contacting the charity on Facebook, calling 0191 489 9707 or visit in person at St John’s Precinct, Hebburn.