Three South Tyneside charities share £12,000 building society donation
A grant of £5,000 has gone to Churches Together South Tyneside. The charity organises volunteers from 60 churches to deliver community support services, including Happy at Home for older people, the Key 2 Life food bank, holiday “Food & Fun” and School Uniforms 4 All.
Churches Together helps around 150 vulnerable and isolated people every week and has adapted its services to accommodate the pandemic.
Social events and lunch clubs were initially replaced with “garden gate” and outdoor visits to service users’ homes, with indoor visits being reintroduced in the autumn once suitable PPE was available to volunteers. Regular catch-up phone calls are made by volunteers, with birthday cards and gifts also given out on special days.
A “bubble rota” has been introduced at the Key 2 Life food bank at Boldon Lane Library, so staff can safely distribute the 4,000 food parcels to local families every year.
Another £4,000 goes to Hospitality & Hope in South Shields, which offers a food bank and support services to vulnerable and homeless people.
Women’s Health In South Tyneside receives £3,000 to improve the health, well-being, education and quality of life of local women.
Bernadette Askins, chair of Churches Together, said: “Bringing all the resources of our different churches together under one banner maximises the collective impact we can have, and this approach has been especially important over the last year.
“Quite a few of our volunteers have had to shield themselves at times over recent months, but we’ve been able to get support from a good number of younger people who’ve been on furlough and many of them have decided to stay involved with the project.
“The wonderful feedback we get from the people we help is the best part of our work.
Stewart Nicol, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s South Shields branch, said: “The three South Tyneside charities we’re supporting with these grants deserve immense credit for the help they offer to local people in need.
“We’re very pleased to be able to help all of them continue to deliver their invaluable services.”
The donations are part of a £1.5 million community commitment made in 2020 by the society to help the region recover from Covid-19.