‘We’re struggling’ - South Tyneside foodbank’s plea for donation help

Bede’s Helping Hands are currently seeking funding or donations to continue to provide for those in need in the borough.

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A food bank situated in Bede, South Tyneside is currently asking for help with funding and food donations.

Bede’s Helping Hands, which is led by Tracy Beaton, began their organisation as a way to provide for the Bede and Jarrow wards, who did not already have a food bank in their area.

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Tracy explained: “We found that people on the Bede ward were being missed out. Our original intention was just to support the Bede ward, but now we are helping the whole borough.”

Tracy and the team of volunteer staff set up the organisation, which is based in the former Primrose Library in Jarrow, where they provide food parcels, breakfast and lunch packages, period items, cooking classes and more to those in need of it.

On holidays such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas, they also provide sweets and toys to young children, while providing afternoon tea for older residents.

Bede’s Helping Hands also had the idea of also having a shop, where people can buy clothes for all ages for incredibly cheap prices, and the money made from the clothing sale goes towards purchasing the food they will provide to North East families.

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“We also help other charities”, Tracy explained. “Last year we helped a little boy with cancer to raise funds for treatment, and continue to help his family with travel expenses to a hospital in Birmingham”.

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Bede’s Helping Hands were nominated for their hard work towards the South Tyneside community at the Best of South Tyneside 2023 Awards.

However, Bede’s Helping Hands are currently struggling to meet the needs of families in the Bede and Jarrow areas and are asking for those who can help to do so, whether that be in the form of financial funding or donations.

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Tracy said: “It would be really good if anyone could help us out. We’re struggling with money at the moment, but we look after too many people for us not to be here.”

Staff at Bede’s Helping HandsStaff at Bede’s Helping Hands
Staff at Bede’s Helping Hands

Bede’s Helping Hands said that all types of people visit their food banks, whether they are employed or unemployed. Tracy reiterated: “People should never be embarrassed to ask for help.”

She continued: “The cost of living crisis has affected everybody, and some people are being forced to choose between putting their heating on or eating. We tell them to put their heating on, and we will provide them with food.”