Sunderland community rallies round to help deliver Christmas gifts

Barnwell Primary School pupils donated food to Penshaw Clothing Bank, pictured with organiser Katherine Mason.
Barnwell Primary School pupils donated food to Penshaw Clothing Bank, pictured with organiser Katherine Mason.

The kindness of a community helped divert a Christmas crisis after people rallied round to ensure those in need did not go cold or hungry.

Penshaw Community Clothing Bank put together hampers of goods together thanks to a donation of items collected by Barnwell Primary School’s harvest festival as well as others gifted by supporters.

This means those people won’t have to worry about going to any foodbanks during the Christmas time and can have a couple of days without thinking about where their next meal will come from.

Katherine Mason

Two families and three single people were helped, while good quality second hand toys have also been passed on to youngsters.

The remainder of the children’s items have been sent on to the Salvation Army, while the remainder of food items have been given to Washington’s food bank

Katherine Mason, who runs the organisation with the support of Ashleigh Tumney and other volunteers, said: “This means those people won’t have to worry about going to any foodbanks during the Christmas time and can have a couple of days without thinking about where their next meal will come from.
“We’ve also seen quite a lot of single men recently who have needed clothes, shoes and bedding.

“One man couldn’t get his heating on so his duvet had gone mouldy, so we gave him a new one.

“Some of them are starting out and have nothing.

“We must thank everybody who has helped us.
“There are people that answer every time I put out a call for help, not just at Christmas, when I say we need something for a gentleman or a family.

“There are some who come to us when ever they have stuff to pass on and we’re so grateful.”

A Christmas fair also helped boost funds and donations.

The good work of the organisation, based at Penshaw Community Centre, comes in the wake of two break-ins to its garage in late October, followed by damage to its door, which means it will close until mid-January while repairs are carried out.

Anyone who can offer storage facilities in the mean time is urged to get in touch with the bank.

Penshaw Community Clothing Bank is welcoming donations of clothing, shoes and bedding ahead of its next session.

For more information visit its Facebook page.