A CHARITY which provides a lifeline to the homeless and needy has been recognised for its efforts.
Streetcare gives food and comfort to those living rough and under the poverty line in Sunderland.
The organisation was founded more than two decades ago, yet keeps a low profile to protect the scores of people it helps.
Now, the small charity has received the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Team Award from Newcastle Building Society for making a difference in the area.
Chairman of Streetcare, Dick Donaldson, and a team of helpers, attended a recent awards ceremony at Ramside Hall Hotel, where they collected £200, an award and certificate to mark their efforts.
Dick, who said a friend nominated Streetcare for the accolade, said he was stunned to win.
“I’m thrilled to bits but totally amazed.
“We try to keep under the radar a bit, so we weren’t expecting it at all.
“The clients were thrilled for us, and some of them said we should have had it years ago.”
Four gongs were handed out at the ceremony, which recognised younger and older residents from Sunderland, Chester-le-Street, and Consett, including a people’s choice award for someone that has shown support for their community, a young person’s award, and a business award.
Dick, said the money will go a long way to helping people.
“There is a huge demand for food parcels at the minute,” he said. “And there haven’t been that many donations recently, so the money will be used to buy fresh food to make them up.
“I was asked to make 11 parcels up last week so we are running low.
“The money will be really helpful. It costs £5 to make up a parcel so it will go a long way.”
Natalie Falkous, head of corporate social responsibility at Newcastle Building Society, said: “We decided to run this award scheme for a second year after the massive success in 2012.
“It’s a great way for people in our communities to be acknowledged for extraordinary work, which may normally go under the radar.
“The judges were looking for a special team who make a real difference to the lives of people in their communities.
“Streetcare, as the winners for the team award were described as a lifeline to those in need in the local community so it was very well deserved.”