More help for Sunderland’s homeless

Streetcare volunteers at St Gabriels Church, Chester Road, Sunderland, l-r Clifford Wright, Yvonne Lynch, Marjorie Aiston and Dick Donaldson.
Streetcare volunteers at St Gabriels Church, Chester Road, Sunderland, l-r Clifford Wright, Yvonne Lynch, Marjorie Aiston and Dick Donaldson.
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A CHARITY which helps the homeless is enjoying a boost.

Streetcare, based at St Gabriel’s Church, Kayll Road, Sunderland, has had increased donations and welcomed new members.

Founder member Dick Donaldson said: “We have had new members join, who help us with our Friday morning drop-in sessions and Saturday morning meals twice a month.

“We have also seen a 15 per cent rise in the donations we receive.”

Streetcare was established in 1991 as a volunteer support group, with those lending a helping hand all going unpaid.

Hannah Pierson, 24, began volunteering with the charity at the start of the year.

“I do quite a lot of volunteer work, but I had never worked with the homeless,” she said.

“I decided I wanted to work with them because I like to help directly and in a hands-on way.

“I thought I would go into a soup kitchen or something like that.

“I found Streetcare, and I’m really enjoying it.

“I help at the drop-in on Friday mornings and at the Saturday meals twice a week. It’s more fun than you would expect, and I know it sounds like a cliche, but I really want to help people, and it is incredibly rewarding.”

Hannah added: “Streetcare is a great charity. All of the volunteers are unpaid, and that is really good as all of the money goes to the clients.

“The clients are all lovely and really positive, considering their circumstances. It is a nice atmosphere, which I did not expect.”

Discussing the rise in food donations, Mr Donaldson said: “We have seen a big increase. It is great because we rely on food donations to make up food parcels that we send out to families who need them.”

Streetcare takes parcels to homeless families at Ashkirk Homelessness unit at Lakeside Village, Silksworth.

Mr Donaldson said: “It is not just those at Ashkirk we help.

“We have had individuals call us to ask us to provide for their families, and a lady from another shelter got in touch.

“It’s been good because the more people who know about us the more we can help.

“That is what we are here for.”

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull