Urgent appeal to restock foodbank after emergency Christmas session clears shelves

Members of the Youth Hub who helped hand out items during the emergency support event in Dawdon.
Members of the Youth Hub who helped hand out items during the emergency support event in Dawdon.

A community centre is calling for help to ensure it can keep people fed this festive time after a special day of kindhearted activities.

Members of the Youth Hub at Dawdon Community Centre in Seaham rallied round to reach out to those in need of support during Christmas - but now more help is needed to boost a foodbank's stock.

Just a snapshot of the donated food then passed on to those in need by Dawdon's Youth Hub team.

Just a snapshot of the donated food then passed on to those in need by Dawdon's Youth Hub team.

Forty families struggling to make ends meet were among those helped by an event run by its members in the wake of Christmas.

Joanne Bowen, the centre's youth development manager, said: "The idea came from young people who attend the centre.

"They came together and looked at ways of supporting elderly members in our community, families and individuals who needed a bit of support and company during the Christmas period.

"They decided an emergency foodbank would be a great idea and to offer free all-day breakfast to the community.

"Volunteers cooked hot meals and the young people delivered them with food parcels and blankets to the elderly.

"Families and individuals were also able to drop into the community centre, receive a free lunch, enjoy crafts and access the foodbank if needed and enjoy meeting up over coffee with other families and individuals.

"Staff at the Youth Hub also volunteered their time by providing a Universal Credit Crisis point where individuals were given advice and support if their payments had been stopped."

Now the centre is looking to restock its stores as it looks to repeat yesterday's effort on Tuesday from 12.30pm to 4.30pm.

Seaham Rugby Club, Seaham Air Cadets, the Slimming World group from Seaham Methodist Church Labour councillors and Westlea Primary have been among groups to donate items in the run up to Christmas, while the Bradley Lowery Foundation gifted teddy bears as well as food parcels.

A host of individuals also dropped in bags of goods to help.

Blankets were also gifted to people to help keep them warm.

Joanne added: "We desperately need donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries and nappies.

"Demand was extremely high when we held our first event and we used all our foodbank stock, which benefited 40 families."

Donations can be dropped into Dawdon Community Centre, off Queen Alexandra Road, on Sunday from 8.30am to 10.30am and Tuesday from 9am to 12.30pm.

Alternatively people can email Joanne via bowenjo@yahoo.co.uk to arrange an alternative delivery time.