Community team helping those most in need as 'crisis intervention' service

A team of community supporters are continuing to work to keep people fed and supported as a three-week lockdown begins to take a grip.

By Fiona Thompson
Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 11:04 am
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 2:32 am

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East Durham Trust is still running with a core of workers as it is classed as a crisis intervention organisation, delivering frontline services to help those most vulnerable to poverty and hunger.

The Peterlee-based organisation, which also helps Seaham residents and those across Easington’s villages, runs a food bank among its many projects.

East Durham Trust has said it is working hard to ensure those most in need are fed during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo by East Durham Trust.

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As the COVID-19 crisis took hold, it described the demand for its packages of good as being “like a military field hospital” as the call for its help soared.

It has said it will work to provide food parcels to people facing financial difficulty, offering advice on benefits and welfare support and making regular telephone calls to those who are vulnerable or living on their own.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “As an established charity with a food bank and a range of advice services, East Durham Trust was inevitably going to be well-placed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Over the last week services have come under significant demand and case studies abound.”

The team say with schools closed and people on zero-hours contracts or self-employed left without work adding to those left to self-isolate, it is concerned demand will outstrip its stocks.

By mid-March, it had already given out parcels to almost 200 people, an unprecedented number even during times of financial hardship for people, such as Christmas and school holidays.

Anyone who can help it with their skills, or donations such as non-perishable items such as long-life UHT milk, cereal, tinned meat, fish and vegetables, as well as anyone who needs support can contact the trust on (0191) 569 3511.