(L to R) Angie Comerford, Alison Wilson and Jo Durkin

Thank you Hebburn Helps

Hebburn Helps supports record level of vulnerable people and families during COVID-19

Hebburn Helps, a local food bank in Hebburn, has worked tirelessly since the start of the pandemic to deliver emergency food parcels, hot meals and packed lunches to children who would otherwise have gone without a meal due to school closures.

Hebburn Helps has been nominated by Linzi Routledge.

Linzi, who is a school teacher at St Aloysius and has been assisting Hebburn Helps with its deliveries during lockdown, said: “The team deserve a massive thank you for all they have done to help those who are struggling financially, whether this be due to the pandemic or other circumstances, and those who are shielding without family who can assist."

“Angie Comerford and Jo Durkin, co-founders of Hebburn Helps, have worked non-stop alongside Alison Wilson to make sure that residents are looked after. All regular volunteers have been shielding at home due to either their age or underlying health conditions and so for the food bank to operate at a level higher than it has ever been required to do so before, is phenomenal.”

Angie Comerford, said: “It has been a highly demanding and stressful few months and I am so proud of what we have achieved. Hebburn Helps was set up to help the people of the borough and there was no way we were going to let anyone down during the pandemic. A lot of people and families are struggling and they rely on us for help."

“When the pandemic hit in March, we delivered 312 food parcels to residents in Hebburn and Jarrow and this rose to a record breaking 717 in April, five times the amount for the same period last year. We have also delivered more than 1000 hot meals to elderly and vulnerable people and 120 packed lunches to school children to ensure they did not go without."

“We have received a huge amount of support from South Tyneside Council, which has provided funding for the school lunches and many local schools have also helped. A special thank you has to go to Jet2 pilot, Michael Booth, and his family, we really could not have operated as seamlessly as we have without their support. Our borough is full of great individuals who want to make a difference to the lives of others."

“It has been a highly distressing time for many people and all of our hard work has been worth it to know that we have been able to help make it that bit easier.”

The Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Norman Dick, said: “On behalf of the people of South Tyneside, The Mayoress and I would like to convey our gratitude to you for making sure that residents have been supported during this difficult time."

“Hebburn Helps operated as an established food bank prior to the pandemic, providing not just food, but a safe and trusted signposting service for people in need across Hebburn and Jarrow. Now, more than ever these volunteers have stepped up to further support local residents. As the Borough’s First Citizen, I would like to say a huge personal thank you for being part of our community and for helping us to address this challenge in an extremely positive way. We are extremely #proud.”