Relief for homeless thanks to appeal

09 December 2010

HOMELESS people will receive a special Christmas present this year thanks to the first grant from the Winter Relief Appeal.

Free the Way, from Seaham, in County Durham, will provide homeless people in the town with warm clothing, bedding and food during the winter months.

The group is the first to benefit from the Winter Relief Appeal, run by The Northern Echo and County Durham Community Foundation to help vulnerable people.

Free the Way is one of a number of organisations who have expressed an interest in applying for a share of the winter relief fund. Many of the others are those looking after elderly people.

They have applied for the grant to provide blankets, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, scarves, a place to stay warm and get a hot meal.

Alison Goggins, from Free the Way, said: “Free the Way would like to thank County Durham Community Foundation and The Northern Echo for enabling us to provide these essential items to those who need it most in these difficult times.”

The Winter Relief Appeal aims to distributes £250,000 to charities that help vulnerable people in the cold weather.

To make a donation or apply for a grant see or call 0191-378-6345. Cheques must be payable to County Durham Community Foundation marked Winter Relief Appeal on the reverse.

Meanwhile, a team from Firthmoor and District Community Association has called at 400 homes in the Eastbourne area of Darlington this week to check on the wellbeing of elderly people during the cold weather.

Leaflets were left where people were not at home.

Kevin Nicholson, association chairman, said they wanted no one else to fall victim to the cold weather after the death of 64-year-old Peter Andrews on Sunday.

Mr Andrews was found in his backyard in Darlington after apparently falling over while clearing a path.

Mr Nicholson said: “We’ve been clearing a lot of paths and also been putting a lot of people’s rubbish out.”

Anyone who wants help from the association can call 01325-462979.