A new community project is set to tackle social isolation in South Tyneside

A South Tyneside community project has received funding to help them tackle social isolation.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 9:04 pm
From left to right: Danielle Pollard, education director, Dee McDonald who volunteers in Emily's Diner, Bilton Hall, and will be in charge of catering for the events and Kaye Symington, creative director for Williby Roc's CIC.

Jarrow-based Community Interest Company, Williby Roc’s, will host South Tyneside’s first Fix it Cafe at Bilton Hall Community Trust, Low Simonside on Sunday, July 14.

The cafe, which aims to tackle social isolation and reduce unecessary waste, will provide an opportunity for volunteers to share their useful skills with the community while helping to make, fix and mend household items.

“The idea is looking at reducing social isolation for the elderly, so it’s to encourage that generation to come along,” said Danielle Pollard, education director at Williby Roc’s.

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“But you also tend to find that the younger generation don’t have the skills, such as sewing, that are passed on from their grandparents - which is down to technology, I think.”

She added: “It’s also about keeping waste out of landfill, as well as being a really nice community event, that everyone can come along to.”

The project has been funded by the Tesco Bags of Help scheme which sees shoppers nominate the charity or community interest project they would most like to see supported by the 5p bag charge. The Fix it Cafe won £2,000 of funding to allow it to host four monthly workshops.

Now it is appealing to members of the community who would like to volunteer their skills – from electrical and woodwork to sewing, crafts, gardening and cooking – to share with others.

All volunteers will also be provided with a free meal in the community cafe, to encourage social interaction, said Ms Pollard.

“If there are older people who are at home by themselves, they can come along and have a meal with people.”

She added: “We’re really excited about it, it’s going to be fantastic and hopefully, if it all goes well, it can be a regular thing. We’d love it if it was really successful.”

The Fix it Cafe will be held once a month on Sunday from 10.30am - noon, on July 14, August 25, September 22 and October 13.

To volunteer, contact [email protected]