A quick-thinking community centre has offered a lifeline to Teesdale families.
The Teesdale Community Resources Hub, in Barnard Castle, had planned to deliver hot meals from their café throughout lockdown. Now they are making hampers for those in need.
From delivering nine hampers in the first week, they are now delivering more than 75. Often to families in dire straits.
CEO Rachel Tweddle explained: “‘We thought of a plan but after more restrictions and volunteers were lost it became clear that this wasn’t going to work. We had to react and think what we could do. So we came up with the idea to deliver care packages instead.”
Cried with joy
“We got a phone call last Friday. The lady who had no access to the internet for shopping and no friends or family nearby. She had called all of the supermarkets in the local area and nobody was able to help. Eventually she was told to call us. Her husband has cancer and she is unable to go to the shops and buy food. On Monday a volunteer delivered her food package to the door and she cried with joy. We will continue to deliver to this lady on a weekly basis. Sadly, there are many more people in a similar situation across Teesdale and we must find a way to help them.”
Grants to groups
The TCR Hub was awarded £4,680 by County Durham Community Foundation’s emergency coronavirus fund to support the elderly and isolated. The National Emergency Trust appeal has so far given out £12.5million to community foundations around the country, including £100,000 to County Durham. The Foundation has also started its own appeal, which has raised almost £123,000 to support community groups.
Rachel added: “The local community have responded really well. We have new volunteers on board who are without work and want to help give something back. We have also seen local businesses who we previously had no relationship with wanting to support us and we’vemade new links with charities that we hope will continue.
“It’s hard work but seeing the immediate difference these packages make is very worthwhile and I hope we can continue to help people in Barnard Castle over the next few weeks.”