Poverty Hurts: Ladies of Steel.

Thanks to the success of the Poverty Hurts Appeal, £1,000 was awarded to the incredible Ladies of Steel in Dormanstown.

A lifeline for so many through the pandemic, this group continues to support older members of the community, people with learning difficulties and those who are socially isolated.

Shoulder to cry on

The past two years have been unrelenting for group leaders, Chris and Debbie Powlay, and their loyal volunteers. There have been many they know and love who have very sadly died during the pandemic and need for support has remained sky high. Yet together, this small but mighty team has delivered more than £15,000 worth of food and essentials to those in need and been a shoulder to cry on and a friendly face for people who are isolated and frightened.

Speaking last summer, Debbie said: “People are extremely grateful for what we do.

“I’ve had people say ‘I’m on my last slice of bread’ or that they have no milk. People have cried on their doorstep.

“I’m a big softie so I do get very emotional. Sometimes it’s happy crying because I see how much it means to them but other times I do come away with a tear in my eye because I’m sad for them.”

And the Ladies of Steel are far from finished. With the £1,000 from the Poverty Hurts Appeal they are continuing to run the ‘Granny Youth Club’ – a social evening for older people in the local community.

Incredible support

The evening brings people together to eat, talk, play games and hear from other services like Age UK and the police for advice and support. Last Thursday was especially good fun as the group organised a singer and entertainment for 60 elderly people in the run up to Christmas.

Roz Henderson, from County Durham Community Foundation, said: “It was great to meet the team and get an understanding for the incredible support they offer the local community. They have such a feel for those who are most vulnerable and often go door-to-door offering help. I was so impressed by their work with local children too – they spend hours with those that are withdrawn, making them feel safe and building their confidence so they can join in.”

County Durham Community Foundation would like to thank all those that have supported the Poverty Hurts Appeal.