New Trustee Paul Chandler supports Surviving Winter campaign by visiting a Wear Mencap project

17 February 2014

Paul Chandler, former Chief Executive of leading Fair Trade organisation, Traidcraft plc. who has recently become a trustee, visited the Wear Mencap project and helped to assemble winter relief packs with the volunteers there.

The Hope! project run by Wear Mencap received a £1,500 grant from this year’s Surviving Winter campaign. The project, now in its second year, involves the young members assembling winter family survival packs for vulnerable families in the community. The funding supported the contents of the packs which included hot water bottles, hand and foot warmers, blankets, candles, flasks, socks, gloves and hats, as well as food parcels suitable for children.

The Surviving Winter campaign is a national fundraising effort run by community foundations throughout the UK. Wear Mencap, which is based at Great Lumley Methodist Church runs a number of projects which Joanne Fearn, Group Leader at Wear Mencap showed Paul on his visit.
Wear Mencap is a partnership organisation that works with young people who have learning disabilities in County Durham. They provide activities, services, projects and campaigns that support and encourage young people. Their members are given the opportunity to try new things, gain

qualifications, socialise, and earn money by working with the organisation. This year 140 families / individuals living in fuel poverty received the packs to help them through the winter months.
Joanne Fearn, Group Leader at Wear Mencap, said:

“We received a tremendous amount of positive feedback about last year’s packs so we are grateful to County Durham Community Foundation for the funding to allow us to do it again this year. It is amazing the difference the packs make to the most vulnerable in the community and getting the young people involved in making up the packs helps them to appreciate giving back to the local community.”