A Hartlepool cabbie and charity stalwart who is standing for MP has had thousands of hits onstanding for MP he has created as part of his campaign.
Well-known Hartlepool taxi driver Stephen Picton, who has raised more than £50,000 for good causes, will challenge Labour’s Iain Wright as an independent candidate when the town goes to the polls in May.
Back in March 2011, Stephen recorded his own version of Thom Pace’s hit Maybe, which is the theme tune from the Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
It proved a huge success, racking up more than 9,000 YouTube views.
“I’ve been doing videos on Facebook for a few years and I do a lot of charity work, that’s how people got to know me.
“I just turned it around and used it as a format to let people know how I was feeling while I’m running for MP.
“One of them has had 6,000 views.
“I’ve had no negative comments at all, people have actually been saying that they feel the same as me.”
The dad-of-four from the Oxford Road area of Hartlepool, said:
“I use videos and social media to help me along my way in the campaign.
“It’s a big part of everyday life now.”
He also raised £50,000 before his 40th birthday by organising dozens of quirky fundraisers.
Stephen, also known as Taffy the taxi driver, is campaigning on improving services for Hartlepool including the reinstatement of the town’s hospital.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 13 Mar 2015
Foodbank organizers in Hartlepool have praised allotment holders who were asked to pledge some veg after an amazing response.
Growers across the town donated an impressive 55 large boxes of produce bursting with fresh vegetables.
They answered an appeal to donate surplus produce to Hartlepool Foodbank by supporting Hartlepool Borough Council’s Big Christmas Dinner Challenge.
It was also run in partnership with the Allotments’ Tenants Focus Group and the town’s Waverley Terrace Community Allotment.
Kate Ainger, Hartlepool Borough Council environmental projects officer, said:
“We invited allotment holders to ‘pledge some veg’ and the response was amazing.
“We would like to thank everyone who contributed for their invaluable support.
“It is great to know that the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge is really going to make a difference to a significant number of families.”
Empty boxes were donated by Fruit Fayre in Oxford Road and were filled with vegetables including potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, beetroot, swede, sprouts, rosemary, cabbage and marrows before being delivered to the foodbank for distribution.
Each box also included an information pack with suggested recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on how to make the most of the produce.
Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator, said:
“There was a fantastic response from allotment holders and we would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks. It was brilliant to be able to give out fresh vegetables.
“We gave some of the boxes to people who sought help directly from us and others were distributed amongst our partner charities.”
Allotment sites which contributed to the appeal were Nicholson Field, Thornhill, Throston, Chester Road, Briarfields, Burn Valley, Woodcroft, Summerhill, Haswell, Rossmere and Waverley Terrace.
Staff and volunteers at the Waverley Terrace Community Allotment, which offers opportunities to children and adults with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health problems, also helped to collect, sort and pack the donations.
Since January, Hartlepool Food Bank, part of the Trussell Trust foodbank network, has fed 4,357 people since it was started. This month alone it has supported 290 people, 89 of whom were children.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 22 Dec 2014
COUNCIL chiefs are delighted with the support for a campaign to make sure crisis-hit families tuck into a traditional Christmas dinner.
As part of the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge, allotment holders across the town have agreed to “pledge some veg” for distribution via Hartlepool Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust network.
Staff from Hartlepool Borough Council will be delivering boxes for donated produce to allotment sites across the town on Friday, December 12.
The filled boxes will then be collected on Thursday, December 18, by members of the council’s Allotments Team and Waverley Terrace Community Allotment before being handed over to the foodbank the following day for immediate distribution.
The boxes will also contain an information pack with suggested recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on how to make the most of the festive contents.
Kate Ainger, the council’s environmental projects officer, said:
“Since launching the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge recently we have been delighted with the level of support shown by allotment holders across the town.
“We know that many local families are desperately struggling to make ends meet and more and more are being forced to turn to Hartlepool Foodbank for help.
“There have been many pledges of veg and, hopefully, we will be able to make it a happier Christmas for many people.”
The council is running the scheme in partnership with the Allotments’ Tenants Focus Group, the Foodbank and the town’s Waverley Terrace Community Allotment which offers opportunities to children and adults with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health problems.
The donation boxes are being provided by town firm Fruit Fair, of Oxford Road.
Ms Ainger added:
“The staff and volunteers at Waverley Terrace Community Allotment will be assisting with the processing and packing of the boxes and they have also offered us the use of a van to help with collections.
“We’d also like to thank the town’s allotment associations and Fruit Fair for their support.”
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 21 Nov 2014