Donations required for Christmas care packages
A HUGE effort is under way in Barnard Castle to ensure those in need this Christmas are not forgotten.
Dozens of volunteers have distributed thousands of leaflets asking for urgent donations to the care packages scheme co-ordinated by officials at the TCR Hub.
They say they are running short of long-life products such as tinned soup and fruit, cereals, biscuits and pasta for the 90 households the scheme currently supports.
Volunteers have attempted to cover every street in the town, delivering leaflets which contain a wish-list of items and giving details of when collections – which begin on November 30 – will take place.
The appeal is also incorporating some of the surrounding villages. The Hub has been co-ordinating and distributing care packages for isolated residents and those in need across the dale since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March.
Chief executive Rachel Tweddle said at its height, up to 150 households received care packages.
“Currently, there are about 90 households, a 50-50 mix of families and single older people. I am still getting referrals every week, whether it is somebody new or someone who has gone off the list and come back on.”
She added: “We are running low on longer life items. We also want to do some bumper packages for Christmas that will last people a fortnight.”
Ms Tweddle said she was aware there were some people who could not get to The Hub, on Shaw Bank, to donate items and the letter appeal was a way to reach out to them and others who may be willing to help.
“It is a genuine plea,” she said.
The number of volunteers involved has grown to about 40.
“I sent a message out to different people who live on different streets to see if they would help,” added Ms Tweddle.
“They said yes, spread the word and got more people involved. My phone didn’t stop ringing.”
She said people shouldn’t feel under any pressure to donate. But she added: “Just a couple of tins of soup will help. It makes all the difference.”
The Hub is also accepting cash donations to buy goods via its Go Fund Me online appeal, which has raised more than £5,700 to date.
For Go Fund Me details go to www.gofundme.com/f/rachel039s-campaign-for-teesdale-community-resources.
For more details about the care packages, see www.tcrhub.co.uk/tcr-food-provision-2.
Regular updates are also posted on The Hub’s Facebook page.