Two young boys moved by the sight of people sleeping rough have started a campaign to help the homeless.
Jack and Tom Hobbs were horrified to see people on the streets of Newcastle during a city visit from their home in Stanley, County Durham, at Christmas.
Despite their tender years, they have pledged to do what they can to help and have started to collect warm clothes, sleeping bags and blankets to donate to the needy.
Jack, nine, and Tom, five, started collecting things at St Mary’s Junior School, where they are both pupils.
Proud father Gavin Hobbs, of Iveston Terrace, Shield Row, said:
“We were out for dinner in Newcastle just after Christmas and my two boys saw homeless people on the streets for the first time and were both extremely upset and bothered about them.
“They decided they wanted to collect hats, coats, scarves, gloves, blankets and sleeping bags and start giving them to the homeless people to keep them warm.
“Jack and Tom are very passionate about this and have collected quite a bit already. We have got so much it is unbelievable.”
Car loads of gear will be taken to The Tommy Armstrong Centre in Stanley and The People’s Kitchen in Newcastle on Saturday.
It is being stored at St Joseph’s Church in Stanley. Anyone who wants to help can call Mr Hobbs on 07432-693-558 or take it straight to the church.
Source – Northern Echo, 04 Feb 2015
A clothes bank offering free clothing and toiletries to people who use food banks is to be launched later this month.
Monthly sessions will take place at Brandon, near Durham City and details of similar sessions to take place in Stanley will be announced in the near future.
The County Durham Socialist Clothes Bank is being set up by the Durham Miners’ Association, Durham People’s Assembly and trade unions the GMB, RMT, and Unite.
The first session will take place at Brandon Welfare Hall on Tuesday, October 28 from noon until 2pm and will be open to anyone in receipt of food bank vouchers.
Organiser Dawn Wilson said:
“As far as we are aware, this is the first of this type of scheme to be set up across County Durham.
“We have been inundated with hundreds of items of clothing, toys and toiletries since launching our appeal.”
“The idea behind the scheme is something which myself and Catherine Ainsley have had for some time, but when recently overhearing a conversation between a young boy and his mother in a shoe shop, during which she explained that she could only afford to buy shoes for his sister this year, this spurred me into taking some action and getting the project off the ground”.
Ms Wilson added:
“When talking to food banks organisers and users we have found that many are also in dire need of clothing and toiletries, because they simply cannot afford even charity shop prices.
> No “even” about it… the majority of charity shops forgot their original purpose and started chasing the middle class pound. Charity shops are no longer cheap.
“As the winter is drawing in we would like to make a special appeal for shoes, gloves, hats, scarves and warm coats; toys would also be very much welcomed in the run up to Christmas”.
Source – Durham Times, 18 Oct 2014
Three new CAB offices are being opened in north Durham to help people deal with a range of problems.
A new Citizen’s Advice centre will open at 77 Medomsley Road, Consett, from Tuesday, following £12,000 worth of investment.
Builders are currently working on premises on Church Chare in Chester-le-Street and it is hoped it will be open in June, following a £50,000 makeover.
Citizens Advice County Durham is also looking for suitable premises in Stanley and has a between £30,000-£40,000 to invest.
Neil Bradbury, chief executive of the charity, said: “All of the new offices will provide clients with a modern, easy to access and friendly place to come for free advice.
“It used to be that CABs were tucked away above shops. That is not good enough and we can provide a better offer for clients with these new premises.”
The funding has come from various sources including the Department of Health, Durham County Council, the Community Foundation in County Durham and various councillors’ funds and funding from area action partnerships.
Neil Bradbury added: “In terms of Consett and Stanley the need for these premises is urgent as we don’t have our own offices in these towns.
“In Chester-le-Street, the new office will hopefully make a whole world of difference providing access for those with mobility problems.
“We have great offices in Seaham and other towns and it has been about upgrading so they are the same standard.”
Last year almost half of the 20,000 people turning to Citizens Advice County Durham (CACD) needed help with benefits with 29 per cent of clients struggling with debt.
The charity, which helps thousands of residents get access to millions of pounds of extra income each year, is hoping to recruit over 300 volunteers.
“We are the main advice service in the county and we are free and confidential for all. People can come to us about anything and talk it through.”
For more information about CACD, its opening times or to volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org or search Citizens Advice County Durham on Facebook.
Source – Durham times 04 May 2014