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Gateshead communities pulling together during coronavirus pandemic

hub supporting community

More than 3,000 Gateshead residents have received help and support during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Council staff, together with a number of voluntary sector partners including Age UK Gateshead and Citizens Advice Gateshead, as well as faith groups and local volunteers, have come together to create mutual aid groups to support our communities. 

In the last two months we have supported hundreds of residents who have requested emergency food, assistance with shopping and prescription pickup and delivery. We have also supported people by giving them advice about money, welfare benefits, housing and employment issues. 

Register for help  

Councillor Catherine Donovan, Deputy Leader of Gateshead Council, said: "Council staff, our partners in the voluntary sector and volunteers are working together across Gateshead to protect and support those residents who need extra help during the coronavirus lockdown. 

"Stories of people going the extra mile to help others are becoming more common as the pandemic continues and I want to pay tribute to our staff and to those groups and volunteers that are coming forward and making every effort to help their neighbours." 

Some examples include: 

  • A resident who was unable to access food and had no means of washing his clothes was immediately provided with an emergency food parcel and was helped to secure a washing machine through the Greggs Foundation Hardship Fund. 

  • Volunteers heard that a family were struggling to access supplies for their little boy's birthday. Groups in the area rallied round and were able to send a birthday party delivery, including a cake, party food and some presents to ensure celebrations would be possible. 

  • Social enterprise, Elgin Community Kitchen, was experiencing volunteer shortages due to Covid-19 and struggling to find a way to continue to deliver daily hot meals to vulnerable customers. The Council helped to recruit volunteers and four people have now been trained to deliver the social-distanced delivery service. The community kitchen is overwhelmed by the response to their request for assistance and is now delivering freshly prepared hot meals to around 18 pensioners each week. This valuable service could not have continued if it was not for the time given by these volunteers. 

  • The Council needed two volunteers to support isolated people living in sheltered accommodation schemes across Gateshead. An amazing 50 people came forward and expressed an interest in the roles which now see volunteers working with The Gateshead Housing Company to provide vulnerable residents with shopping and essential items as well as calling them regularly to check in and have a chat.  

  • Gateshead charity Your Voice Counts in partnership with Gateshead Council are supporting 1,200 adults with learning disabilities, by identifying any assistance they need such as such as emergency food parcels and making referrals to partners such as Age UK or Citizens Advice Gateshead for further help. They also make regular wellbeing calls to residents offering reassurance and friendly conversation. 

Gateshead Council has set up special coronavirus web pages where residents and businesses can access a range of advice. 

Advice for residents and businesses

There is health information; advice for jobseekers, furloughed employees and those facing job uncertainty; advice about what benefits can be claimed during the coronavirus crisis and a community directory of local independent businesses that are delivering food and supplies in the Gateshead area, as well as voluntary organisations in the Borough. 

For those residents that need support with food, routine shopping and other essential items, they can register for help or they can call 0191 433 7112.  

hub supporting community
20 May 2020

More than 3,000 Gateshead residents have received help and support during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Council staff, together with a number of voluntary sector partners including Age UK Gateshead and Citizens Advice Gateshead, as well as faith groups and local volunteers, have come together to create mutual aid groups to support our communities. 

In the last two months we have supported hundreds of residents who have requested emergency food, assistance with shopping and prescription pickup and delivery. We have also supported people by giving them advice about money, welfare benefits, housing and employment issues. 

Register for help  

Councillor Catherine Donovan, Deputy Leader of Gateshead Council, said: "Council staff, our partners in the voluntary sector and volunteers are working together across Gateshead to protect and support those residents who need extra help during the coronavirus lockdown. 

"Stories of people going the extra mile to help others are becoming more common as the pandemic continues and I want to pay tribute to our staff and to those groups and volunteers that are coming forward and making every effort to help their neighbours." 

Some examples include: 

  • A resident who was unable to access food and had no means of washing his clothes was immediately provided with an emergency food parcel and was helped to secure a washing machine through the Greggs Foundation Hardship Fund. 

  • Volunteers heard that a family were struggling to access supplies for their little boy's birthday. Groups in the area rallied round and were able to send a birthday party delivery, including a cake, party food and some presents to ensure celebrations would be possible. 

  • Social enterprise, Elgin Community Kitchen, was experiencing volunteer shortages due to Covid-19 and struggling to find a way to continue to deliver daily hot meals to vulnerable customers. The Council helped to recruit volunteers and four people have now been trained to deliver the social-distanced delivery service. The community kitchen is overwhelmed by the response to their request for assistance and is now delivering freshly prepared hot meals to around 18 pensioners each week. This valuable service could not have continued if it was not for the time given by these volunteers. 

  • The Council needed two volunteers to support isolated people living in sheltered accommodation schemes across Gateshead. An amazing 50 people came forward and expressed an interest in the roles which now see volunteers working with The Gateshead Housing Company to provide vulnerable residents with shopping and essential items as well as calling them regularly to check in and have a chat.  

  • Gateshead charity Your Voice Counts in partnership with Gateshead Council are supporting 1,200 adults with learning disabilities, by identifying any assistance they need such as such as emergency food parcels and making referrals to partners such as Age UK or Citizens Advice Gateshead for further help. They also make regular wellbeing calls to residents offering reassurance and friendly conversation. 

Gateshead Council has set up special coronavirus web pages where residents and businesses can access a range of advice. 

Advice for residents and businesses

There is health information; advice for jobseekers, furloughed employees and those facing job uncertainty; advice about what benefits can be claimed during the coronavirus crisis and a community directory of local independent businesses that are delivering food and supplies in the Gateshead area, as well as voluntary organisations in the Borough. 

For those residents that need support with food, routine shopping and other essential items, they can register for help or they can call 0191 433 7112.  

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