Move to Help More People
Hebburn Helps has moved to 14 St John's Precinct in Hebburn Shopping Centre which has allowed them to expand their operations.
And councillors have paid a visit to see the new premises and thank staff for the sterling work they do all year round to help those in crisis.
Cllr Moira Smith, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Co-operatives and Partnerships, said: "We know that those who were already struggling have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. The work carried out by food banks such as Hebburn Helps has always been important but with the added challenges of Covid it is now more desperately needed than ever before.
"It is wonderful that Hebburn Helps has now found such large and central premises, making it so much more accessible to more people."
The new premises - which were previously three empty shops - house the food bank, a fundraising charity shop as well as a space which will be used for drop-ins and adult learning. The annual Christmas appeal, which sees struggling families receive a Christmas dinner, hamper and children's gifts, will be run from the first floor.
Jo Durkin, co-founder of Hebburn Helps who works as a team leader, said: "It was great to have the councillors come and see our new premises. The Council has always been very supportive of our work and the Members understand the struggles many in our communities face on a day to day basis.
"In addition to providing emergency food parcels, our new site will allow us to engage more directly with local communities, providing basic life skills, companionship and a listening ear - all aimed at restoring people's dignity and self-worth.
Opening hours at Hebburn Helps are Monday to Friday 9.15am to 2pm. Anyone who wants to find out more or volunteer is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org