Elderly benefit from assistance of East Durham's Snow Squads

22 January 2011

Snow Squads across East Durham have come to the aid of the elderly and vulnerable this winter.

The Snow Squad project began in December and is running for four months to provide assistance to vulnerable people in East Durham during the winter. The project is managed by the East Durham Trust with funding from Durham County Council, County Durham & Darlington Primary Care Trust and County Durham Community Foundation.

Four Snow Squads, consisting of four volunteers each, have been created in Blackhall, Shotton, Murton and Thornley with the aim of identifying and supporting vulnerable people in their community during the winter months. The Snow Squads do whatever is required of them by those who need their help the most. Their activities range from clearing paths of snow & ice, doing people’s shopping, arranging medical appointments and checking on people during periods of extreme weather.

The Snow Squad project received a grant from the Winter Relief Appeal, which was set up in December by County Durham Community Foundation and the Northern Echo. The grant, totaling £1,419, has allowed them to expand their activities to deliver hot meals to these vulnerable people. Malcolm Fallow, Chief Executive of the East Durham Trust said “The Winter Relief Appeal coincided perfectly with our project as many vulnerable people were noted as not accessing proper nutrition. The local communities had luncheon clubs that could provide hot meals so the volunteers have made the link and food has been distributed.”

Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive at County Durham Community Foundation is delighted with the success of the Appeal. “We have been so impressed with the response of the public to this Appeal; it is only with thanks to their generosity that we are able to support such worthwhile causes.”

Community & voluntary groups working with the elderly and homeless are encouraged to apply for a grant from the Appeal by calling Brenda on 0191 378 6344 or email brenda@cdcf.org.uk. Anyone wishing to donate to the Appeal can do so by calling Christina on 0191 378 6345, posting a cheque payable to County Durham Community Foundation or visiting the website, cdcf.org.uk/winter-relief-appeal.