Barnard Castle is set to open its second foodbank after growing concerns that people in the area are falling on hard times.
Volunteers at the Influence Church, in Galgate, are preparing to open the service, which will be part of their StoreHouse project.
It is expected to be up and running next month and has already had donations following the Harvest Festival.
StoreHouse coordinator, Paige Rutherford, said the foodbank would be an addition to the ‘discreet’ one ran through St Mary’s Methodist Church and would be working in partnership with it.
It also follows the success of the church’s existing Richmond project which, in the two years it has been open, has helped about 400 different families and provided more than 32,000 meals.
“We do know there’s a need in the area because we have had people in Barnard Castle actually come to our Richmond base looking for some help,” said Mrs Rutherford.
“There are quite a few people that come to us who aren’t homeless or broke, they are just in a tough situation.”
Mrs Rutherford explained how people would be able to self refer themselves to the foodbank if they have not already been put forward by an organisation, and clients can expect to receive parcels, containing mostly tinned and non-perishable items, for up to eight weeks.
Clients would have to provide proof that they are in need by their second visit and after eight weeks would be assessed again, as that is usually the point that they would be asked to take a six-month break from the project.
Mrs Rutherford is currently being helped by the foodbank’s first volunteer and Influence Church intern, Lesley Allison, who is expected to be joined by at least three others once the service opens.
Mrs Allison, of Staindrop, said:
“I’m looking forward to getting started. I’m a bit apprehensive and nervous but excited because it will be a great help for people.
To find out more visit www.influencechurch.co.uk/storehouse, email email@example.com or call 01748-823161.
You can also find the church on Facebook and twitter @influencechurch
Source – Northern Echo, 25 Oct 2014
A North-East fire service is proposing to cut staff and review services to fill a £3.6m funding gap.
Spennymoor Fire Station could be operated by part-time firefighters under the plans being considered by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority.
The number of full-time staff in Darlington could also be reduced, while police and ambulance crews could share some County Durham fire stations.
Unveiling the authority’s strategic plan for 2015/16 to 2017/18, Susan Johnson, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, stressed that there were no plans to close fire stations or reduce the number of appliances.
“We have begun this consultation early to provide an extended period of time to speak to and canvass the opinion of everyone affected, from MPs to people living and working in our area.”
The service has already had to find £3.5m of savings over the last three years.
– Sharing Barnard Castle Fire Station with police, ambulance and mountain rescue staff; Stanhope and Crook with the police and Sedgefield with the ambulance service.
– Training firefighters to deal with medical emergencies, including heart attacks, bleeding, breathing difficulties, trauma and strokes.
– Reviewing the staffing of the aerial ladder platform appliance in Darlington, including the possible use of retained staff.
– Reviewing the number of emergency response officers – who respond in cars to take charge of major incidents – employed by the service.
– Changing the staffing at Spennymoor Fire Station for the first responding appliance to retained only, rather than full-time during the day and retained at night and over weekends.
Tony Curry, Durham secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said the union was still digesting the consultation document and would respond to the authority formally in due course.
To view the three-year strategic plan document , visit http://www.ddfire.gov.uk/service-plans where there is a link to the consultation questions at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk//three_year_strategic_plan15-16_17-18
For a hard copy of the document, call 0845-3058383. The consultation will run until December 1.
Source – Northern Echo, 01 Sept 2014