South Tyneside teenagers helping feed homeless by stocking Lucie's Pantry charity in South Shields
A group of South Tyneside teenagers have given up some of their school holidays to help tackle homelessness in the borough.
The 12 young people, aged 16-19, have chosen to raise money and awareness for South Shields-based homeless charity Emmaus North East, as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) project.
Emmaus North East, provides a home and meaningful work for up to 15 former homeless people in South Tyneside and aims to help them rebuild their lives through a social enterprise scheme.
In July, they opened Lucie’s Pantry a social supermarket located at the Old Post Office on Dean Road in South Shields. The Pantry provides affordable food and household essentials to those who are struggling to make ends meet through debt, illness or low income.
For £2.50 residents can stock up on £15 worth of shopping.
“Homelessness is a big problem in our local area and we wanted to find a charity to help people who are on the verge of becoming homeless to try and avoid it happening,” said team member, 16-year-old Chloe Doughty.
“Not many people our age have done this sort of thing.”
The youngsters are hoping to raise £150 to buy supplies for the new supermarket by taking part in a sponsored fancy dress walk from South Tyneside College to Seaburn today.
They have also organised a bake sale on tomorrow at Marsden Road community centre.
“We just want to raise enough to help the charity out,” said Chloe, who will attend Newcastle College from September.
“They have told us that they need cans and tins of tuna and cereal, so we’re going to go shopping for them and then donate the rest.”
She added: “When we did our research to see which charities needed our help, not many people had heard of their work. We’re trying to raise money for them but also make people aware of the charity.”
The NCS scheme aims to give young people the chance to prepare for their futures and work on their personal development through a series of challenging activities.