Tanga Club is a Youth and Social Group for families with children who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The club caters for children of all abilities, and siblings and friends with no additional needs are welcome.
They also run a support group for the parents and carers at weekly session held in Hexham's TORCH Centre.
Amount received: £907
Half of the funding is providing activity packs for the children, which the team are delivering to every member. The packs are designed to cater for all ages and abilities, providing both indoor and outdoor activities and challenges to help them stay occupied.
Alongside the activity packs, the club is offering mental health support to parents and carers, many of who have found they are really struggling mentally with the lockdown. A big part of the work the club does is help parents and carers to reduce stress and anxiety and it is clear that that area of support is needed now more than ever.
The remaining funding from Karbon will allow the club to provide a recorded weekly relaxation session, which is ran by a qualified practitioner and can be completed by the parents/carers at their own pace. It is also running weekly social catch up sessions virtually to discuss how things are going help them to reinforce the techniques used.
Natasha Leontiou is the Tanga Club Secretary
"We are delighted to give an update on how successful the funding we received from Karbon Homes has been. We knew this would have a really positive impact on our children during these difficult times and we can't thank Karbon enough for the help and support.
"Half of the funding provided activity packs for our children, full of indoor and outdoor activities and challenges, and all the supplies needed to take part. So much thought and love has gone into making these packs which would have never been possible if it hadn't of been for Karbon Homes.
"We spent days delivering the packs to each and every member of Tanga. The children’s faces lit up and the parents couldn’t believe the thought that went into the bags. We were inundated with messages over the next couple of days thanking us for them.
''Can I just say how awesome you all are. I got the shock of my life yesterday when there was a knock on the door. You'd driven all the way to our home in Haltwhistle to drop off an activity bag. It warmed my heart'' - Ebony
''Two happy boys, Tanga you have put so much thought into these bags it has literally made me cry happy tears'' - Marie
''The most lovely surprise today. Thank you so much Tanga Club. I honestly can't express how happy you have made the boys today.'' - Laura
''I have never seen Saffron smile so much since we started lockdown after receiving her goodie bag today, thank you so much, she is well impressed'' - Michelle
''Tanga you never cease to amaze us. Thank you very much for such fab goodie bags for the boys, they are over the moon. The support that you as a club have shown throughout this lockdown is next to none, constantly working in the background even with so much going on in your own lives, you all need to be very proud showing so much love, support and togetherness'' - Bev
"These packs brought so much happiness to our members and their families at a time when they really needed it.
"With the remaining money from Karbon Homes, we have a professional Holistic Therapist, Nicky Robertson, holding a relaxation/meditation course tailored specifically for our Tanga Club parents and carers, to help with the stresses they might encounter on a daily basis. This is a 4-week course held online so our members can take part at a time that suits them best. The course will include mindfulness, de-stress, breathing and relaxation techniques.
"We can’t thank Karbon enough for all the support and care that they’ve shown the Tanga Club."
St Oswald's Hospice
St Oswalds’ Hospice is an independent hospice providing specialist care and support for adults and children from Northumberland and Tyne and Wear who have life threatening conditions.
Amount received: £1,000
The hospice’s ‘Focus on Living’ service prior to the Covid-19 pandemic was providing regular support for 80 North East adults who are living with cancer, progressive neurological disorders and other life-threatening conditions. Due to their need to stay at home and shield, these adults can no longer be brought to together at the focus on living centre, and the hospice team were concerned that being isolated at home, unable to see loved ones, facing the postponement of important operations and frightened to attend hospital for vital treatments, that many were at risk of developing depression, anxiety and other mental health problems due to the lack of support and social interaction.
To help combat this, the grant from Karbon will fund arts and crafts materials which will provide lonely patients, shielding at home, with a pleasant distraction, reminding them that they are still part of a community and encourage them to participate in a positive activity every day. Arts volunteers have been uploading ideas for activities to the hospice website and inviting patients to join live online arts and crafts sessions.
Nikki Wilkinson is the Campaign Manager at the hospice. She said: “Most of our day patients describe the Focus on Living service as a 'lifeline’, providing reassurance, giving each week a focus, encouraging them to keep active and helping them to feel part of a community where they were valued, listened to and understood. This made it all the more heartbreaking that we weren’t able to safely bring our day patients together during the outbreak.
"Keen to help our patients find a renewed sense of purpose and enjoyment our team has been working to recreate the Focus On Living Centre – online, running arts and crafts sessions and providing patients with activities to help keep them occupied.
"Of course, vulnerable patients who are shielding at home cannot easily shop for all the materials they need to take part in an art class, which is where Karbon Homes came in. They very kindly donated £1,000 which has enabled the hospice team to buy lots of arts materials, package them up and deliver them to individual patients’ homes.
"Our day patients were so excited to receive these parcels and very enthusiastic about joining in classes, seeing and chatting to each other again. They all said it was great to ‘escape’ from what was going on, reinforcing the positive difference which art can make to people who are living with a serious illness.
"We all want to say a huge thank you to Karbon Homes for making this work possible. We are so very grateful for your kindness.”
Deaf Awareness NE
Deaf Awareness NE is a local charity supporting deaf and hard of hearing people, actively promoting communications between deaf and hearing people and offering weekly/monthly sessions and activities. Based at The Linskill Centre in North Shields, the charity caters for a range of ages, providing opportunity for much needed social interaction for people who are increasingly isolated by the world around them.
Amount received: £1,000
The charity is offering support to older deafened members and deafened people within the general public, who have become much more socially isolated due to the crisis.
It is offering sessions and activities, such as sign language and signed singing, on the online zoom platform which have proven very popular, and has developed an online social group specifically aimed at older socially isolated deaf people.
The group offers a safe online space for deaf people, along with their hearing associates if appropriate, to chat to others, express their concerns, relate their experiences and ask questions that may be going unnoticed at this time.
This will include a professional Speech To Text service within the sessions to produce live captions so that anyone who is struggling to follow what is being said can read along in real-time.
Derek Craigie, is the Project Coordinator for the charity. He said: "The team at Deaf Awareness: NE were delighted to receive the positive news that we were successful in gaining funding from Karbon Homes. We made the decision to seek funding in order to help us run an online support group for deaf and hard of hearing people.
"This funding will help us in developing an online confidential space that deaf and hard of hearing people can attend to discuss anything and everything to do with their lives in these present difficult circumstances. This will prove very important in giving deaf people a voice during uncertain times. The funding has enabled us to provide subtitles to the sessions so that they can be made more easily accessible.
"As with many people currently, deaf and hard of hearing people are finding increased isolation and the lack of social contact challenging, and our weekly online support session will help to ease some of the strain of this and give deaf people an opportunity to meet and chat with others who are in a similar situation. We also intend to keep the ethos of the sessions light and positive, with an onus on boosting confidences through shared experience."
Changing Lives - Auckland House
Changing Lives-Auckland House is a 6-bed supported accommodation for females aged 18+ facing homelessness, due to a number of reasons such as domestic violence, rough sleeping, substance misuse or relationship breakdowns. The charity works with the women to empower and work alongside them to strive for independent living in the community.
Amount received: £400
The grant from Karbon will be used to make renovations to the house’s outside space, providing a calming outdoor environment for the women to rest and relax and enjoy being outside. Many of the women living their are battling their own past traumas and demons and adding social distancing and isolation to this is having a hard mental and emotional impact.
Hannah Ward is the Support Worker at Auckland House
“I would like to start by saying a massive thank you on behalf of all the females and staff at Auckland House. Being granted this funding from Karbon’s community Investment team means we can make a real difference in our female’s lives while residing at Auckland House, especially during current circumstances.
“We plan to use the grant to make much needed renovations on our outside space, it has a lot of potential and we are all very excited to make a team effort to bring a wonderful space to the females we support.
“With this funding we can allow the females to get involved with the work needed in the garden. It gives the ladies a project to work on and allows them to take responsibility for something and gives a meaningful use of time.
“We would love to try our hand at growing produce in the garden as well with the hopes of being able to partner with fellow charity/community ran projects in the Chester le street area.
“Thank you again to Karbon Community Investment in giving us the opportunity to better our environment and making a real difference in our female’s lives.”
Corbridge Youth Initiative
Corbridge Youth Initiative provides youth work support to young people aged 10 – 25, ensuring vulnerable young people and families, living in the rural area, can access services and support.
Amount received: £1,000
As lockdown measures begin to ease, the initiative has launched its Covid-19 recovery re-engagement plan, taking steps to ensure the much needed service can be accessed as safely as possible. The funding from Karbon will help cover the cost of measures needed both now, to get the centre back up and running, and over the coming months.
They have already employed an industrial deep cleaning company to ensure every inch of the centre had been disinfected. They plan to bring this company in at the end of every school term as well as carrying out their own rigorous daily cleaning requirements. They are also in the process of having social distancing and preventative measure signage installed throughout the building.
The kitchen space at the centre is also a priority and needs a number of modifications. A dishwasher is needed, to clean at high temperatures to kill viruses and prevent cross contamination, and they are looking to purchase a new small electrical items, such as kettles, microwaves, toasters, as well as new utensils and crockery to ensure the most high risk area is as clean as it can be for new usage under current Covid-19 guidelines.
HD Super Troopers
HD Super Troopers supports children with hidden differences such as autism, and their families. Working in Amble, Hadston and surrounding villages, they provide a range of activities for the children, and practical support for their parents.
Amount received: £300
The funding from Karbon will go towards providing food and hygiene parcels to families who are struggling financially due to a combination of factors caused by Covid-19.
This includes parents who have lost their job, been put on furlough, or who have not been self-employed long enough to claim and are now on universal credit. Combined with now having children at home 24/7 (not all children with autism are entitled to a school place) this has brought a heavy financial burden on families. The group are aware of parents they support who are missing meals and who are only able to provide basic food such as tinned spaghetti on toast for the children, and who are struggling to obtain hand wash/sanitiser and other cleaning equipment, so the parcels will be a huge relief.
The Community Network
The Community Network engages with over 1000 young people of all ages from a mixed of different of backgrounds across South Tyneside every month, providing them with the opportunity to learn new skills, improve their health and wellbeing and engage with their peers in a safe, structured environment.
Amount received: £1,000
Both venues that The Community Network works from, The Urban Factory in Hebburn and the Mortimer Community Centre in South Shields, have had to close due to Covid-19, leaving the young people who spend their time there feeling vulnerable, lonely and isolated.
The centre is now preparing the venues to be able to open as soon as the Government say it is safe to do so. The network were forced to use their reserves to get through the lockdown period, so the grant from Karbon will help cover the cost of additional equipment needed to reopen.
This equipment includes additional safety mats and room dividers and will ensure that the network can provide classes and activities in a safe and secure environment that doesn’t put anyone at risk.
Upper Coquetdale Community Transport
Upper Coquetdale Community Transport in a volunteer-led group based around the town of Rothbury in East Northumberland.
In the absence of good public transport the group provides transport services using its single minibus. These services support residents all ages, from schoolchildren using the bus for clubs and societies, to elderly residents who need assistance accessing shops and services, social occasions such as lunch clubs.
Amount Received: £1,000
During the lockdown the group has started delivering food shopping to house-bound and self-isolating elderly and vulnerable people in the area. In partnership with the Rothbury Co-op, the major local food shop which has changed its opening hours to accommodate 2-3 hours a week for this project, volunteers are shelf-picking residents’ shopping orders and then using the minibus to carry out deliveries.
The funding from Karbon will help to cover the cost of the fuel needed for deliveries, as well as helping to continue paying the part time Transport Manager, who ensures the service operates smoothly.
Success4All supports young people in less affluent areas of the North East to achieve, through providing learning hubs, educational clubs, and summer scholl programmes.
Programmes have a strong focus on young people learning new skill from one another. All sessions are supported by young volunteers, usually sixth form and university students, who are trained to become peer tutors, mentors and club leaders.
Established in 2008, the organisation currently works with 476 children and young people and 168 young volunteers.
Amount received: £2,000
The organisations learning hub coordinators are reaching out to parents/carers of the children they support, to check in, see how them and the children are doing physically and mentally, and see if they can support with home schooling.
Many of the families connected to Success4All may not have access to the technology need to home school, so the organisation is also providing these families with laptops, as well as English, Maths and Science workbook packs to help stop children getting academically left behind.
For those families who aren’t able to connect to the internet and make use of the online resources, a booklet called Tips & Free Resources is being pulled together. They are hoping to translate this in a number of languages and post out to the families who are struggling.
Caroline Afolabi-Deleu is the Founding Director of Success4All
"We were very pleased to hear that we were successful, especially as all of us are in a state of emergency and there are so many needs that need to be addressed now. Our immediate needs were for the families that all of a sudden had to turn their homes into a home school but had no or very little resources, IT-equipment or fast broadband.
"We usually run Learning Hubs during the year, offering a space, a laptop, learning resources and crucially, the support of a local peer tutor after-school and during holidays in less affluent areas of Newcastle and North Tyneside.
"All this had to stop when schools closed. Parents and carers were at a loss of what to do with their children's education. We tried to help with a Homeschooling Helpline and Tips and Resources booklet, but the greatest help has been lending out our 20 laptops and educational workbooks.
"Thanks to the generous donation of Karbon Homes, we are now able to buy more laptops to support families."
Whitley Bay Big Local
Whitley Bay Big Local (WBBL) was set up for the benefit of residents of Whitley Bay, in particular, those who are in need of relief from financial hardship due to their social and/or economic circumstances.
By partnering with other local organisations, authorities and projects, the WBBL works to improve local facilities and service provisions to support and bring together the more vulnerable and/or isolated members of our community.
Amount received: £1,000
During lockdown, WBBL have been delivering their Big Batch Cook project, which offers daily meals to vulnerable members of the community via a network of volunteers and a partnership with the Round Table and a local restaurant/chef.
The project as brought to the surfaced high levels of demand from vulnerable, isolated, food and income poor residents that would have otherwise gone unidentified.
The grant from Karbon will help to support the ongoing Big Batch Cook project, covering the cost of ingredients, foodstuffs, containers and packaging, and delivery, to ensure the project can continue to meet growing demand.
YMCA Newcastle is a legally and financially independent charity that supports disadvantaged young people aged 11-25 and communities in Newcastle and Gateshead, who face the most barriers to good health, independence and skills development, as a result of their socio-economic circumstances.
Amount received: £1,000
Byker and Walker are the most deprived wards of Newcastle and over 50% of residents live in households below the national poverty line. Unemployment is high and the current outbreak has meant that many families have faced significant loss of household income with many experiencing hardship.
YMCA Newcastle is supporting families living in poverty and older adults in Byker and Walker who are hardest hit by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Families with multiple children are facing extra costs replacing free school meals and care home residents are isolated in their rooms with no access to communal lounges.
The team is delivering daily meals to families in need, as well as activity packs and treats to households and care homes to address isolation, with information about how residents can access support from YMCA and other organisations in the city.
Home Comforts from Fit Belli Deli
‘Home Comforts from Fit Belli Deli’ is a trading name for Asset Base South Tyneside Community Interest Company. Based at Crown Village in South Shields they manage the Community Hub building and the Fit Belli Deli restaurant. They also run a branch of Fit Belli Deli from Hebburn Community Hub, also in South Tyneside.
Home Comforts offers a range of healthy meals using seasonal, nutritious ingredients and celebrating local food traditions that link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
Amount received: £1,000
Home Comforts’ initiative in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic is to provide affordable, healthy and nutritious meals for the next few months, to residents across South Tyneside who are disadvantaged due to their economic, social, health and mobility circumstances.
Meals will be delivered door-to-door to those less able to access ingredients for cooking healthy and nutritious meals. Customers can book their meals with a simple landline phone call, and meals will be delivered door-to-door by trained DBS-checked volunteer drivers.
Delivery costs within South Tyneside will be waived for clients of domiciliary care.
As well as contributing towards the cost of ingredients, the funding from Karbon will also help cover transport and fuels costs for the delivery of these meals.
Rainbow Home is a small local charity, providing specialist support and assistance for people seeking asylum in the UK who are also LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender). They also work with LGBT+ people who have been granted leave to remain in the UK, but are still settling.
The charity’s purpose is to help reduce the psychological isolation and inequalities experienced by LGBT+ asylum seekers in North East England.
Amount received: £450
A recent report highlighted the increased vulnerability of people in excluded groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. Increases in levels of anxiety and stress can re-trigger trauma reactions and make individuals even more vulnerable in terms of their mental health. Up until March Rainbow Homes services were mostly delivered face to face by their specialist part time worker. They are now having to adapt their support to the current crisis by offering basic psychological contact by phone or online.
Many members either survive on an asylum support allowance of around £5 per day or find themselves destitute. The funding from Karbon will help the charity to provide members with essentials over the coming months, including washable face masks, hand sanitiser and home cleaning products, as well as support accessing food and phone top ups.
Wallsend Memorial Hall
Wallsend Memorial Hall is a volunteer ran community centre which has been serving the residents of Wallsend and surrounding areas for 35 years. Offering activities and support in education, employment and training, welfare rights, community development and leisure activities, the centre provides for residents of all ages.
Amount received: £3,000
During lock down the team has that regular users of the centre were in need of support. The volunteers have been providing and delivering food parcels on a weekly basis and keeping in regular telephone contact to ensure that their personal needs are being met.
The funding from Karbon will enable the centre to continue supporting the community in this way whilst also extending the support to more vulnerable residents who are facing heightened levels of stress and austerity.
The grant will cover the cost of extra FareShare deliveries and the purchase of additional food and hygiene provisions, as well as the cost of packaging and delivery.
The Empty Space and Wacky Kids Days
The Empty Space is an arts and community development agency focused on supporting people in South East Northumberland and the West End of Newcastle to set up and run their own projects in their own communities.
Since January 2019, The Empty Space have provided ongoing training and mentoring for a group of 5 mams, who run a community arts project for families in Benwell. Wacky Kids Days provides free creative workshops and healthy meals that bring whole families together and contribute to reducing food poverty.
Amount received: £1,000
At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown it became clear that families were struggling to find activities to keep children engaged. This was contributing to high levels of anxiety, tension and poor mental health. Some families have found activities online, but they can’t afford the materials and equipment required, whilst others can’t access online resources.
Over the last few months, Wacky Kids Days has created and distributed 600 activity packs containing simple materials and craft ideas. Positive feedback on the first run of activity packs from the community has informed a second phase of the project.
The funding from Karbon will help cover the costs of another 600 packs to distribute via the food bank and primary schools. Each pack will include materials for enough activities to fill two days.
They’re also set to create and distribute 100 Bumper Packs containing a more comprehensive selection of arts and crafts essentials, including safety scissors, paper and card, colouring pencils, and activity specific materials, as well as activity instructions.
These packs, combined with household recycling, will provide everything needed to engage children in craft activities daily for four to six weeks.
The Empty Space is supporting the co-ordination of the project, however the overall ideas and direction of the project, as well as the content of the activity packs, is led by the volunteers who also put the activity packs together.
North Shields and Whitley Bay Methodist Circuit
The North Shields and Whitley Bay Methodist Circuit runs churches based in North Shields, Cullercoats, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, Earsdon and Seaton Sluice. As well as providing religious services in the form of worship on a Sunday the churches are home to many community groups who use our church halls throughout the week. The community engagement means they’re in touch with many elderly people, parents with young families, and children and young people.
Amount received: £1,000
Since the Covid-19 lockdown, the circuit has adapted its offering in order to support a wide range of people in the communities who have fallen through the gaps in other provisions.
This support ranges from telephone calls to the elderly and isolated, to combat loneliness and offer continued support during this time, collecting and dropping off shopping and prescriptions, for those who are unable to leave their houses at this time, setting up arrangements with local for the withdrawal of money, for those who can not bank online or over the phone, in order to help people pay for vital supplies, and bereavement support for those who have lost loved ones during this difficult time.
The circuit hopes to continue the initiative in the North Tyneside area for the foreseeable future in order to support the community during this time and thanks to grants from organisations such as Karbon, alongside extra donations, the future of the initiative looks positive.
The Bay Foodbank
The Bay Foodbank is an independent foodbank that operates across North Tyneside with the support of its team of volunteers. Its mission is to provide emergency food provision to individuals or families experiencing a financial crisis.
Amount received: £1,000
The Bay Foodbank has seen intense demand on its service in the past and during the COVID-19 crisis that need has been even greater. With many people on furlough, stretching funds, there has been an increase in service users registered during the crisis. The foodbank is also expect another burst when lockdown measures are relaxed and many people are brought off furlough.
The isolation provision is an initiative to draw in a reserve store of items, so the foodbank can continue to support its beneficiaries in North Tyneside going forward and prepare for an expected increase in demand.
The money from Karbon will cover the cost of food provision, particularly items that are not being donated or are being provided to beneficiaries at a rate that outstrips supply. This includes both tinned and fresh food such as vegetables, eggs, bread and essential toiletries e.g. deodorant, shower gel, toilet roll etc
Happy Faces - Prudhoe
Happy Faces – Prudhoe is a youth group for children from the town and its surrounding areas who have a learning disability, predominantly ASD and ADHD.
As well as providing support for the children, the group provides a vital support to their parents, who are able to take time for themselves whilst their children are looked after by the qualified youth workers.
Amount received: £1,000
Many of the youth group members and their families are struggling to manage through the crisis, with heightened levels of anxiety and frustration due to having to stay at home.
With the funding support from the Karbon the group are putting together and delivering support packs to the homes of all its members. The packs will include a teddy bear, a pack of sensory aids to promote wellbeing and calmness, and two face snoods, cotton tubes that can be worn in the same manner as a cloth mask but aren't as irritating for children who tend to have increased sensory awareness.
Real Deal Plus
Real Deal Plus offers support to the most vulnerable members of the community, those who are suffering from social, academic, health, financial food/fuel poverty and isolation.
The community café in the Ashington Life Centre provides vulnerable members of the public, of all ages, with a warm, safe place to come, socialise, enjoy a hot meal/drink and access help/support and companionship. It also hosts an emergency food bank, a community shop/clothing bank and a furniture bank, as well as a number of support services, community groups and activities, all designed to offer guidance, support and a warm welcome.
Amount received: £1,000
Since the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown began the team has re-focused their operation to support the most vulnerable members of the local community and those who are shielding, by providing emergency food parcels and foodbank items (including fresh meat packs, toiletries and baby items), and picking up prescriptions.
They are also continuing to offer support to those who are sleeping rough by supplying regular food and tents/sleeping bags where needed.
The £1,000 grant from Karbon will enable the centre to continue offering this support over the next few months, with the money being used to buy food for food parcels, cover volunteer expenses for deliveries and help keep the centre open to members of the public for walk-in food parcel collections and advice/support.
Brookwood Outdoors Education CiC Project
Brookwood Outdoors Education CiC Project is a community group based in County Durham. Working with a wide range of demographics, the ethos of the project is to provide a relaxing and safe space outdoors for people to meet up, socialise, make new friends and learn new skills.
Designed to help improve mental health and general wellbeing, the project activities such as outdoor cooking, den building and nature skills. They also have raised vegetable beds for members to grow produce have and hens to keep members engaged.
Amount received: £1,000
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the group has been working hard to connect with elderly and vulnerable residents in its local area of Langley Park, Bearpark and Esh Winning.
The team are cooking hot nutritious meals and working with the coastguards to deliver them whilst hot, twice a week.
The funding from Karbon will help the group to continue its offering, as despite the ease in restrictions a number of vulnerable residents they support are still shielding and struggle to access food.
Mission Initiative North East
Mission Initiative North East (MINE) is a partnership of five anglican churches in Byker and Walker who work together and with others for the good of both communities. In particular this involves youth and children's work, working to support those facing food poverty, and a money advice service.
Amount received: £700
Due to lockdown, the MINE youth café was no longer able to operate. Instead the café is being used as storage space for emergency food by the Byker Mutual Aid group. The group provides support for residents in and around Byker, by helping with everyday tasks like shopping, distributing educational items like books, and delivering urgently needed food and personal care products.
The group is also preparing hot meals which are being delivered to those in sheltered housing and other vulnerable residents. The grant from Karbon will provide an additional fridge freezer which is needed to ensure perishable food items are stored safely, and cover the cost of additional items, such as baby care and hygiene products, to accompany items from FareShare in the food parcels.
Pallion Action Group (PAG)
Pallion Action Group (PAG) works to improve the living conditions, community facilities, social, educational and economic opportunities available to people resident within the Pallion/surrounding areas of the City of Sunderland.
The aim is to deliver a variety of quality, diverse and inclusive support and activities which meets community needs by catering to all ages.
Amount received: £750
Pallion Action Group is now a Community Hub, 1 of 4 in the City of Sunderland, for people in crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic. The groups initiative include
Referrals to Foodbanks via red voucher scheme - in cases picking up food parcels when no-one else is available due to self isolation.
Supporting wellbeing support for our vulnerable/elderly people who do not have access to the internet
Online mental health support for those experiencing emotional/mental health difficulties
Benefit advice, targeting those who are furloughed, self-employed, are on zero-hour contracts or have lost their job because of Covid-19.
Creating/delivering Emotional Wellbeing Activity packs for people of all ages to support the impact on their mental health.
The grant from Karbon will help fund the costs attached to running this community hub, including fuel, resources, volunteer expenses and management/administration.
Love, Amelia is a Sunderland based baby bank, providing new and pre-loved baby items to families in need across Sunderland and South Tyneside. Operating thanks to donations from the community Love, Amelia offers support to families in need, improving health and wellbeing and providing children with the best opportunity to thrive.
Amount received: £962
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a widespread impact on families in the community, with some families unexpectedly finding themselves in financial hardship. Love, Amelia is now the only dedicated Baby Bank to provide crisis and ongoing support in the area and since the lockdown came in to force, the service has seen a 100% increase in demand.
Due to an increase in demand, paired with a drop in donations from the community, the service has called on the support of organisations for funding support.
The grant from Karbon will help cover the costs of packaging each bundle for transport and allow the service to provide new items to babies and young children that would otherwise be without. The packaging ensures items are delivered in a secure and hygienic way whilst helping the family feel they are receiving a gift, not a handout. Love, Amelia provides pre-loved/donated items where possible, however purchasing new items is essential to ensure they adhere to UK safety standards.
The Big League CIC
The Big League CiC operates from Burbank Community Centre in Hartlepool and aims to help improve the the skills, social welfare, health and wellbeing and employability of residents in the Dyke House area of the town.
Offering a range of clubs, social groups and activities, the league has helped 800 plus residents since its formation in 2014 and has plans to develop its project further.
Amount received: £1,000
Prior to the national lockdown due to Covid-19 volunteers from centre had already mobilised to deliver food to the vulnerable.
As the lockdown has continued the group volunteers have continued to provide both food parcels and hot meals to residents across the town, developing partnerships with other local groups and organisations, including St Aidan’s Foodbank, to ensure as many vulnerable residents in need of help get the support they need.
The funding from Karbon will g towards the cost of more fun products, as well as supplying PPE, such as face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser, volunteer expenses, and other delivery overheads.
SEARCH is a charity for older people based in the West End of Newcastle. It works with people who are aged over 50, delivering a range of services to improve their lives, maintain independence and help to combat the social isolation that many people experience in later life.
Amount received: £1,000
SEARCH is delivering Lunch@Home, a meal delivery service to those who would normally have attended its weekly lunch clubs.
Every Tuesday volunteers deliver a nutritional 2 course meal to people’s doors. The charity wanted Lunch@Home to be more than just a meal, but an experience to rival their original lunch club. To do this they also supply a hospitality pack with a napkin, a teabag or coffee sachet and a sweet treat, as well as a fun activity pack, such as a sunflower planting kit or a craft project to help fill the lonely days.
The volunteers also use the delivery as an opportunity to engage them in chat on the doorstep and they can have a phone call from one of the charity’s telephone buddies later in the afternoon.
Simon Luddington, Chief Officer for SEARCH said: “Covid-19 has hit the community that we serve harder than most. The way we work to encourage people to get out, access their community, has had to change as the regular weekly timetable of social activities that we provide has had to be put on hold. We are now encouraging people to stay in and stay safe.
As the crisis hit and lockdown was brought in, we maintained contact with people who attend our groups and lunch clubs. One lady commented “I miss my Lunch Club, it is the only time I get out ofthe house all week, it’s something to look forward to and I get dolled up in my glad rags and see my friends. Now every day is the same”.
We knew we had to respond to this, so we applied to Karbon Homes for funding support to deliver a service for those who usually attend our Lunch Clubs. Lunch @ Home has been made possible because of small grants like Karbon Homes grant.”
North East Homeless Charity
The North East Homeless Charity provides outreach support to the growing number of homeless people in Newcastle, Sunderland and surrounding areas, ensuring that homeless people living on the streets are provided with the help and support they need to achieve a comfortable way of life.
Main areas include assisting in the provision of material items such as food, hygiene provisions or clothing and offering practical support to vulnerable individuals to enable them to improve their lifestyles and be self-sufficient.
Amount received: £1,000
The charity’s outreach project supports up to 100 people on a weekly basis, and has seen an increase in numbers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
In January the charity secured a unit that the team are in the process of refurbishing into a community café and kitchen. The idea was for this unit to act as a community hub for users and a base for the outreach project to operate, providing users with a safe space and a social environment, where they can access help, support and guidance.
The funding from Karbon will help cover the cost of the last remaining items of kitchen equipment the community hub needs to open, which will provide users with a resource that is needed now more than ever.
St John Ambulance - North Region
St John Ambulance - North Region, is a volunteer led charitable organisation, dedicated to promoting, teaching and providing first aid cover at public events. Our ambulance crews also support our local ambulance service to release pressure on the service.
Amount received: £2641
With the arrival of COVID-19 all St John Ambulance income stopped. The region’s 10 ambulances and crews, based at Gateshead, are supporting North East Ambulance Service crews, completing 12-hour shifts, and St John Ambulance volunteers are providing support in local hospitals and doctors surgeries.
The grant from Karbon will help fund the additional training needed to up skills the ambulance crews and volunteers, as well as covering the cost of extra PPE needed.
The Hygiene Bank West Northumberland
The Hygiene Bank West Northumberland project provides basic essential hygiene products to the most vulnerable individuals and families in communities in Hexham, Haltwhistle, Prudhoe and the surrounding areas.
Amount received: £1,600
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the projects collection point has closed and no donations are coming in. The funding from Karbon will enable the project coordinators to buy project branded products, to make sure that all products look the same and people are aware of the work they do and why they do it.
It will also cover the cost of storage rent, to keep the products secure before they are distributed.
Hayley Hall is the Project Coordinator, she said: “We were overjoyed when we received the news that The Hygiene Bank in West Northumberland had successfully secured funding from Karbon Homes.
“The Hygiene Bank is a grassroots, people powered charity and social movement, grounded in community. We have grown from a simple belief that it’s not right feeling clean should be a luxury or a privilege for anyone in our society, yet many of us are living in poverty and can’t afford to be clean. That’s why our network of banks exists – to give access to those of us who need essential hygiene products.
“I am the Project Coordinator for the newly set up The Hygiene Bank West Northumberland project. However, Covid-19 has meant we couldn’t start the project with our usual way of working. Instead of setting up collection points for donations from members of the public and working with community partners to make sure the donations got to those who needed them, we had to look for new ways of working.
“Karbon Homes made the application process easy; the form was simple to complete, and I had a response in a couple of weeks.
“So far, we have cleared out some storage space and set up some shelving so we can easily see what we have and what we need. My first order of products has been received, now we will work with the West Northumberland Food Bank to deliver the hygiene essentials they are short of.
“Next, we’ll be in touch with other potential charity partners in Haltwhistle, Hexham, Prudhoe, and the surrounding areas to ensure we can help a wide range of people. Without the support of Karbon Homes we wouldn’t have got off to such a positive start.”
Social Chef works with disadvantaged groups within the Sunderland area. The organisation’s tag line is "strengthening communities through food" and they generally run courses, activities and events to not only promote healthy eating but to bring communities together and reduce social isolation.
Amount received: £500
Social Chef’s 'flexible food fund' is supporting those in the local community who may not have access to healthy freshly cooked food items, due to economic disadvantage or because they are shielding.
The team is providing freshly cooked food, to enhance people’s daily food intake and provide much needed nutritional value, whilst alleviating some of the difficulties relating to financial hardship.
Laura Lynch is the Project Co-ordinator
"Social Chef is delighted to be awarded £500 from the Karbon Homes Community Grant Fund, to contribute towards our “Flexible Food Fund” which we established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The fund has enabled us to develop a flexible approach to the support needs of the local community. We have purchased fresh ingredients and a chest freezer to store additional produce which in turn we will create healthy dishes from.
“In addition we have been able to forge partnerships with other community organisations, such as the Forage Community Project, who are providing invaluable support to us, and have also had backing from the Karbon Homes team."
North East Wellbeing
North East Wellbeing was set up to care for the social and emotional needs of at-risk and vulnerable children. The Zone West project, which cover the West End of Newcastle, is a social prescribing project which support children with complex needs, referred from local primary schools and GP surgeries, through mentoring, group work and getting them involved in the community. The project also offers support to the parents and carers.
Amount received: £500
The grant from Karbon will enable the Zone West team to continue offering support to those on their caseload.
Support will include;
Creating and maintaining an online platform to share ideas for accessible healthy living activities, such as healthy cooking/eating, exercise, arts and crafts and mental and emotional wellbeing tools.
Supplying food parcels/packed lunches for children in partnership with schools
Creating printable activity resources to be downloaded or delivered
Supplying resources e.g. art and crafts materials, baking supplies, seeds and indoor exercise equipment
Tina Simvo is the Zone West Link Worker for the charity
“It was really great to hear that Karbon Homes had decided to award funding to Zone West. We applied to Karbon because we needed help covering the costs of adapting the support we offer to families in the West End of Newcastle, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
“We developed our coronavirus lockdown project because most of our work with children had previously taken place in schools, and since schools were closed as part of the Governments lockdown, it mean that we could not continue to engage with them in this way.
“As frontline practitioners, we had to think quickly and creatively about how we would maintain our relationships and continue supporting families, and respond to the different needs that were emerging because of the circumstances.
“The funding that we received from Karbon Homes has enabled us to reach out to more families during the coronavirus pandemic. We can now extend our support beyond the children we were originally working with and help others to stay safe and well during this time. The money has helped us provide a range resources to 40 families with complex needs across the West End of Newcastle.
Real Lives: Real Choices supports adults across County Durham who have learning disabilities, mental health problems, and complex socio-economic circumstances. Through their RecycLD project, they use upcycling of furniture and other creative activities to engage with learners, offering them training and learning opportunities to build their confidence and help them reach their aspirations and goals
Amount received: £1,000
Thanks to the funding from Karbon, the Real Lives: Real Choices team are creating activity packages to be delivered to the current 40 individuals on their caseload, living in the old Chester-Le-Street District Council area.
Packs will include creative activities and items to support individuals’ wellbeing, for example a bird box to assemble and decorate, ingredients to make flapjack, crossword/puzzle books, and packets of herb seeds to plant and grow.
Blyth Star works with adults experiencing complex and enduring mental health problems and or other disabilities, empowering them to take control of their lives and live and work within their local community to the best of their abilities. They provide a range of individually tailored accommodation and rehabilitation services, enabling people to live in a safe and supported environment, gain life skills, access accredited training and sheltered work opportunities, as well as social and leisure activities.
Amount received: £3,000
Due to the Covid:19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, Blyth Star had to close its centres and projects. It quickly became apparent that many of the service users were suffering from heightened levels of stress and anxiety due to situation, so the team have begun providing and delivering free, daily hot meals alongside much needed psychological support directly to their service users who are some of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and isolated people in the area.
By taking referrals from local partners, the team have started to expand this service to the wider community, delivering to households in Blyth, Bedlington, Cramlington, Ashington, Seaton Sluice, New Hartley and Seaton Delaval.
Jill Watkin is the Philanthropy Manager at Blyth Star
“Blyth Star Enterprises were absolutely delighted to receive the support of Karbon Homes for our work with people experiencing complex, lifelong mental health issues and other disabilities during the COVID- 19 pandemic. On behalf of everyone we are helping, our staff and trustees, we would like to say a massive thank you to Karbon Homes.
“In such difficult times it is essential local communities work together to help one another and ease the problems and impact of the pandemic, particularly on the most vulnerable and isolated members of our society and Karbon Homes are doing just this by helping people in Blyth Valley.
The closing of our day services in response to government legislation and social distancing caused heightened anxiety and concern for everyone, but especially amongst the people we support. It was therefore essential to find a way to offer our help and continuing support by just being there and showing we care.
“We introduced telephone buddying and began preparing hot daily meals for clients in our professional kitchen in the heart of Blyth and delivering them directly to people’s homes, whilst observing social distancing and PPE protocols.
“This enabled us to identify the problems people were facing and help to address them. It quickly became clear there were other vulnerable individuals and families in Blyth Valley, so working in partnership with other agencies we began to support others who were not already part of the Blyth Star family. We provide this service free of charge.
Kimblesworth and Nettlesworth Community Task Force
Kimblesworth and Nettlesworth Community Task Force is a charity working in the it’s villages and surrounding areas, to relieve poverty and social isolation. The two main activities to date have been a Community Cafe for the elderly/isolated, and a Carers and Toddlers Group, both meeting in the Nettlesworth Community Centre.
Amount received: £1,000
Together with local partners, the task force has set up the ‘Food for Thought’ project to help residents who are in need of food support. Volunteers are cooking and delivering free meals for 110 residents in the area, every Tuesday and Thursday each week.
John Barclay is the Chair of the Task Force
“We were thrilled to receive substantial funding from Karbon, which goes towards the cost of the food. The Project was started in April to meet food hunger at a time when many in our community have lost work and access to free school meals, or are otherwise in financial need at this time of crisis.
"Those who receive these hot meals, cooked and delivered by our team of volunteers, are absolutely delighted to receive this support, and frequently comment on the quality of the meals and the difference it makes to receive them. It is a huge lift to many who are otherwise isolated or anxious to know that they are supported and cared for at this time.”
The Lanchester Partnership is a driving force behind many of the services and facilities available for the residents of Lanchester and works constantly to improve the community and infrastructure. Working closely with Duham County Council and the Lanchester Parish Council the partnership has a number of groups which organise and manage community services, activities and events.
Amount received: £1,000
The Lanchester Partnership is working hard to support people through the crisis.
Thanks to support from Karbon, for those who are suffering financial hardship they are offering free books, craft supplies, and food parcels. For those who can pay but are self-isolating, they are offering a shopping collection and delivery service.
The crisis has left many residents in the area feeling social isolated, so the partnership is also offering a listening ear through telephone contact and signposting residents to other support networks they may need, where appropriate.
Leading Link is a charity supporting children and young people across North and South East Northumberland to maximise their potential.
Amount received: £1,000
With support from Karbon, Leading Link are working to promote and maintain positive mental wellbeing amongst children and young people in their communities. Young people engaged with Leading Link are helping to deliver numerous challenges to engage and motivate during these difficult times. These including the 'Bake off', where ingredients and recipe cards are delivered to people’s homes, as well as hoola hooping, dance, and arts and crafts challenges.
Projects like this provide entertainment, whilst helping individuals to learn a new skill and gain a sense of achievement and completion. The project also suggests the sharing of the experiences with neighbours, to encourage social interaction.
Leading Link is also regularly connecting with targeted young people to see if and where they need support. This can include getting WiFi into houses, as well as help with Zoom or video chats to keep them connected.
Lifeline Community Action
Lifeline Community Action (LCA) is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which provides emergency aid and support services to families and individuals who find themselves in great need.
Operating from their base in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, the charity supports residents from across County Durham and Darlington
Amount received: £3,000
LCA is currently providing care packages to anyone in financial difficulty, as well as to key workers on a low income.
These care packages include items needed to help to keep the person, their home and their belongings clean, and help prevent the spread of the virus. The baby care packages include items specifically made for babies and very young children.
The funding from Karbon will help LCA fund the supply of full household packages which are provided to families who need that little more help. The household packages include household items such as bedding, towels, pillow, sometime crockery and small electrical items.
Pauline Chambers from LCA said: “We are delighted to receive funding from Karbon Homes to help support individuals and families who may need extra support to cope with the difficulties experienced as a result of Covid 19.
"The number of people currently in desperate need has increased as a result of Covid:19 and the demand for household essentials has increased with it. Many families who have never known poverty are experiencing it for the first time and the recovery economically will be long and hard
"Karbon Homes has enabled us to provide our care packs, as well as full household packs where the need is identified, to individuals and families on a low income who are struggling to purchase all the cleaning materials and household goods needed to stay safe at this time and to help prevent the spread of the virus.
"We’re also able to provide support to many key workers, primarily those who are on minimum wage, who are struggling to keep up with the cost of having to wash their clothes, uniform and bedding on a daily basis, in order to prevent passing Covid:19 on to their families."
Oasis Community Housing
Oasis Community Housing is a homelessness charity which delivers services in Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Southwark and Croydon. It’s main business is providing housing and support to people facing homelessness, helping them to overcome barriers and build a new future.
Amount received: £2,000
Covid:19 and the current lockdown measures are proving a significant challenge for residents living in the charity’s support accommodation projects. The houses are not set up for prolonged periods of lock-down, with multiple residents spending longer than normal periods of times inside. OCH staff are working hard to support residents to observe the government’s lockdown measures and reduce tensions in the homes between residents.
The grant from Karbon has helped fund two elements of this work
OCH have bought TV’s, colouring books, games and jigsaws, craft supplies etc, to encourage residents to stay indoors and reduce contact with others.
These are essential for long periods of time indoors, and are basics when compared to the items many individuals and families have at their disposal to keep them entertained.
TVs which will be placed in each bedroom to support residents to stay in their rooms, and reduce tension around what should be shown on the communal TV, and the activity packs will be a mix of single person and multi-person activities so they can be done alone or in a group. This will help maintain healthy relationships in the house.
OCH has purchased some essential PPE and hygiene equipment for the projects. This has reassured staff and residents by helping to reduce the likelihood of Covid:19 entering and spreading in the projects, as an outbreak would be disastrous.
If Covid-19 were to break out in one of the housing projects and residents needed to self isolate, OCH staff will have the equipment needed to continuing offering support to residents whilst keeping themselves safe.
Women's Health in South Tyneside
Women's Health in South Tyneside (WHiST) provides health and well being services to women age 16+ living in South Shields and surrounding areas.
Set up by local women after identifying that there was a need for support, the project helps over 1,200 women a year, many of whom have multiple, and often quite complex needs. The services they offer include counselling, employment support, help with long term health conditions, as well as daily drop ins and social events.
Amount received: £1,000
In times like this particular concerned is had for women in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with mental health issues, and those in violent relationships.
Women in these vulnerable groups are either not able, or really struggle to access support through an online or telephone service, which puts them at even greater risk.
The grant from Karbon is to help cover the cost of a trained and skilled support worker, who will be on hand to stay in contact with women who may be experiencing increasingly complex circumstances, and signpost them to appropriate services for help.
The support worker will be based at home, linking in virtually with the women they’re supporting, as well as the rest of the WHiST team. The funding will also help to purchase any equipment needed to do this.
The £1,000 from Karbon will cover the running of the helpline for a month.
Easington Lane Community Access Point
Easington Lane Community Access Point is a community hub which serves Easington and the surrounding communities. The hub is home to a range of activities include weekly lunch clubs, shopping bus service, craft clubs, toddler groups and after school clubs, and hosts a range of monthly events and fundraisers.
Before the coronavirus, ELCAP enjoyed a footfall of around 1,000 people a week, ranging from pre-schoolers to those well into their 90s, accessing
Amount received: £350
The current lockdown is having a massive impact upon local communities. Easington Lane and neighbouring areas has a high number of residents aged 70+ and the group is seeing isolation on a massive scale. This is alongside a rise in financial deprivation, with families and lone residents struggling to afford food, and mental health and other complex issues.
The group has worked hard to adapt its services to meet the community’s immediate needs. They’re using the minibuses to deliver packed lunches to more than 400 children each day who are entitled to free school meals, and are working with the local food banks to provide a delivery and shopping service where demand has quadrupled.
They are also delivering to click n collect customers who are unable to collect their groceries because they are self-isolating, as well as collect shopping lists from the deaf and blind who would struggle to give their shopping list over the phone.
The funding from Karbon will go towards diesel for the vehicles, as well as covering maintenance costs and travel expenses.
South Stanley Partnership
The South Stanley Partnership was set up in 2000 to help improve the lives of the residents in the socially and economically disadvantaged community of South Stanley and the surrounding areas. As part of this work the partnership runs a community café with meals at affordable prices where people can meet up with friends in a pleasant, comfortable and child-friendly environment. They also provide a home delivery service for elderly, disabled and vulnerable people in the community.
Amount received: £750
During the crisis a lot of people in the community are in total isolation. The partnership’s delivery service is in high demand, offering help and support to more residents than ever.
The organisation is providing free packed lunches for school children whose families are facing financial difficulty which is resulting in food poverty.
The funding from Karbon has enabled the organisation to recruit more volunteer drivers to deliver the packed lunches, as well as hot meals, essential groceries, and medical supplies to elderly and high risk residents.
The Washington Trust
The Washington Trust is a charity which supports community groups and organisations which operate within Washington, Tyne & Wear.
The trust provides community development support and, in particular, volunteer development. The Washington Trust also delivers a range of heritage projects and programmes.
Amount received: £1,000
The trust is running an initiative to support community food groups that are ran through the local church, who do not have a constitution or bank account to apply for funding.
The funding from Karbon will help cover the cost of nappies, UHT milk, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as toiletry and sanitary products.
The trust also aims to support some of the most vulnerable in society by supplying activity packs for young people absent from school, and for older residents who are isolated.
Disability North is a pan-disability charity which support individuals with learning disabilities, learning difficulties, mental ill-health, age-related conditions and any physical impairment or other disability. The service also offers support to individuals families and carers, as well as the wider support-networks and the communities in which they are empowered to participate.
Amount received: £5,000
The funding from Karbon has enabled Disability North to increase staff hours for the next 3 months to backfill lost volunteer hours. This will ensure the charity is still able to support socially isolated disabled and elderly people within the region.
The funding will also cover increased staff time to answer the high volume of welfare benefit enquiries the charity is receiving, as well as covering the cost of a dedicated advisor to deal with community care enquiries coming through.
Dr Victoria Armstrong is the Chief Executive
“Disability North is delighted to receive a community grant from Karbon Homes at this difficult time. Disabled people have found themselves more vulnerable than most in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and this funding enables Disability North to be adequately staffed to answer the increased number of calls relating to welfare benefits, equipment, and requests for advice on health and social care.
We have also installed an online chat function as an additional way for people to get in touch with us which is already making a massive difference to the people we support.”
Finchale provides a range of support for people across County Durham who are struggling with social, physical and mental health issues. They help people to make positive and lasting changes through 121 support and structured physical activities.
Amount received: £1,000
Like many organisations, Finchale had to review its services at the start of the pandemic and think how it could continue to reach out to those most in need and help make sure they weren’t missing out on vital social connections. To ensure clients who didn’t have access to a smart phone or a reliable internet access weren’t left behind during lockdown, Finchdale’s ‘Helping Hands project’ is loaning clients an internet enabled tablet so they can access activities online.
Clients log on to access a range of activities such as crafting sessions and virtual walks. Using Zoom, participants can choose either to walk around their neighbourhood whilst following social distancing guidelines or watch from the comfort of their home. New activities are regularly being added and participants can also access online learning, connect with friends or chat to a member of the Finchale team
Jacqui Nicholson, is Finchale’s Programme & Services Delivery Lead
"We’re delighted to have been awarded £1000 from Karbon Homes for our work to reduce social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity has a long history of supporting local communities and is now working hard to support those who are most vulnerable and struggling to keep in touch with others.
"The grant from Karbon Homes couldn’t have come at a better time. It has allowed us to provide a way of helping some of the most vulnerable people to remain engaged and have safe, social contact with others. We are very grateful to our friends at Karbon.”
Building Futures East
Building Futures East hosts a range of projects and provides services to support the communities in the East End of Newcastle. Working with around 1400 individuals each year, they support with everything from training and employment, through to building confidence through social interaction and promoting positive wellbeing.
Amount received: £1,000
Through its Local Programmes team the organisation has been operating a small scale food parcel and period poverty initiative since September 2019. This has dramatically increased in scale in response to crisis, due to the growing demand for food and hygiene products from residents who are struggling financially.
Funding from Karbon is helping the organisation to top-up supplies of essential household food items, as well as hygiene, sanitary items and baby products. The latter are items that are not part of its regular supply from food partners or cannot be supplied regularly in sufficient quantities to meet demand.
It is also helping to cover the cost of disposable gloves, hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and face masks, for the safety of the volunteers.
Umbrella Community Centre
Umbrella Community Centre in Consett is a community hub ran by volunteers. Prior to Covid:19, the centre provided a 3 course Community Meal with hot/cold drinks each week, as well as an accessible Community Fridge facility 3 times a week, offering fresh produce.
Amount received: £1,000
Due to the crisis, the centre volunteers have transformed the Community Meal and Community Fridge to a delivery only service.
Using food stocks supplied through the annual membership with FareSgare, as well as relationships with the local Tesco, Coop, and other local companies, the volunteers are able to continue providing this valuable and very necessary service for many members of the local community, who depend on the centre for a much-needed hot meal to feed their families and to access fresh items.
As lockdown has gone on, the demand for the service has grown. The funding from Karbon will help boost stocks of fresh produce each week, allowing the centre to produce more hot meals for vulnerable residents in the area.
The funding will also help cover the cost of volunteer expenses for the collection of produce and the delivery of hot meals.v
Unisus Group's mission is to empower people to fulfil their potential. This is achieved by providing skills, well-being, and care services to its clients, many of which have disabilities and health conditions, and face barriers to social and financial inclusion. From its base in Wallsend, the group works with residents across Newcastle, North Tyneside and South East Northumberland.
Amount received: £960
Unisus previously ran a face-to-face counselling service, to help vulnerable people improve their emotional and mental health, however because of the public health restrictions currently in place the service was no longer practical. With the help of the funding, Unisus has been able to move its existing counselling project online, to ensure those they help are still receiving support.
Ian Dougall, Director of the Unisus Group, said: The group is delighted to have been awarded a community grant from Karbon Homes to run an on-line counselling service. As a social enterprise working with vulnerable people, we know that the measures put in place in response to the pandemic are causing increased levels of anxiety and social isolation, especially for those without the relationships and support networks many of us are lucky enough to have.
We are hoping that being able to access one-to-one counselling sessions using the internet and Zoom, will help vulnerable, socially isolated people cope better with the psychological impact of the situation.
The funding from Karbon Homes will enable us to organise and provide these sessions, so vulnerable people will be able to access counselling quickly, safely and at no cost to them.
For more details about how to access the project, call 0191 9089384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stomping Grounds Forest School
Stomping Grounds Forest School, delivers forestry education to communities in the North East. Based in Prudhoe, the school delivers youth and family provisions which aim to bring communities together and reconnect them with nature.
Amount received: First grant - £1,000 Second grant - £480
With the first grant from Karbon, Stomping Grounds Forest School delivered Nature Activity Packs to vulnerable families in Prudhoe, which support a connection to nature to improve health and wellbeing during lockdown.
Family friendly activities within the pack include windowsill grow kits, make your own bird feeders, make your own healing balm from medicinal plants, and many more.
Using their links in the community to target those most in need, the team had all 30 spaces signed up for.
The organisation submitted a second application for a further £480. This grant was to enable the organisation to set up a virtual campfire experience, with storytelling, crafts and songs, for around the next 6 weeks.
Families join the for free using Zoom, to view footage of the woodland, hear a live campfire story, watch a demonstration of a nature craft that can be easily replicated at home, then join in with familiar songs around the campfire.
Each story follows a nature theme and encourages families to connect with the outdoors using all of their senses. The aim of the sessions is to help improve wellbeing through nature connection and improve community cohesion by getting families singing together.
These sessions will also give families a taste of what the real woodland sessions are like and get to know the practitioners, helping them decide whether they would like to join the group once lockdown measures are lifted and things get back to normal.
Age UK County Durham
Age UK County Durham is the principal voluntary organisation working with and for older people, throughout County Durham. The aim of the organisation is to promote the wellbeing of all older people and to help make later life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.
Amount received: £1,000
During the crisis, Age UK C.Durham has been responding to a huge demand for support from older people across the county.
They have established a Covid 19 volunteer scheme, over 92 new volunteers have offered their time and are collecting and delivering shopping, medicines, hot meals and other vital supplies.
The organisation has also established a welfare call service which has received thousands of requests for support. Volunteers offer daily or weekly welfare calls to self-isolating older people which is particularly comforting for families who are distanced from their loved ones.
More recently they have started to distribute indoor pursuits, such as books, DVDs, games, wool, garden seeds and craft equipment, all delivered for free from their charity shops which are currently closed, to promote better mental health for older people whilst they isolate.
The funding from Karbon will help the organisation to maintain these services, and continue to respond in new ways that meet the emerging needs of older, isolation people across the county.
Park View Project
Park View Project is a community group with a mission to tackle the discrimination faced by groups in North Tyneside who aren’t online. The organisation works with a mix of individuals of all ages and backgrounds, giving them access to equipment and getting them up to speed with the digital world through online active learning programmes, to make sure they aren’t economically or socially left behind.
Amount received: £185
With support from Karbon, Park View’s initial aim is to progress its ‘Volunteer Online Chum Mentors’ scheme where volunteers become a ‘Digital Befriender’ to someone who is digitally excluded in their community. Volunteers help their match to stay safe online, signpost them to local resources, assist them with applying for socially essential services, help them with setting up email addresses and advise them on how to safely shop online. The group have piloted the programme using a sample of its current members who are already online and are now working to extend this to the wider public.
The grant from Karbon will ensure Park View can make the necessary changes to how the volunteers manage those they are mentoring, by upgrading software on volunteer’s home computers. It will also cover the cost of producing and printing leaflets which will be circulated to residents not yet online who would benefit from the support.
Bob Dennis is the project’s Volunteer Development Worker
“Park View Project is pleased to announce support from Karbon Homes in the form of a donation towards developing our volunteer Online Chums Mentoring Scheme.
During this period of national emergency many older folk are in a precarious position because of poor levels of basic digital skills, with few opportunities to access the help they need to maximise their independence. Our project can create the means for more people who are socially isolated to access socially essential services, as well as increase their social circles of support.”
Calmer Therapy supports children, young people, adults and their families, who have additional needs, disabilities and mental health needs. They provide weekly after school and weekend sessions, which provide social environments where members can access support.
Amount received: £1,000
The organisation is providing essential food parcels and activity packs to families across Northumberland who are struggling financially due to the crisis.
They are also helping families who are classed as high risk and are unable to leave their homes, by picking up prescriptions, shopping for essentials and offering any other support they may need.
In addition to all of this, they are offering online and telephone support, providing, advice, social conversation, online activities and virtual meet ups, providing something for all ages.
Calmer Therapy has provided 69 families with either food parcels, activity packs or delivery services in the last 4 weeks. The funding from Karbon will cover the costs of extra essential items to make up the food and activity packs, providing more families with the support they need.
Kepier School is a coeducational secondary school in Houghton-le-Spring for pupils age 11-16.
Amount received: £1,000
Academy staff and learners in school (children of key workers and vulnerable) are using the technology department’s laser cutter to produce PPE visors, which are being distributed to care providers in the region.
Sharon Read is the Senior Lead at the Academy.
She said: “Kepier is delighted to acknowledge the successful bid of £1,000 from Karbon Homes to support the design, manufacture and distribution of visors for our community.
“We are a large secondary academy in the Coalfields area of Sunderland. We have strong community links and many of our past learners work in the various care settings across the region.
"We also have a very dedicated staff who have given their time and money to produce visors.
“At the start of the lockdown, we knew PPE equipment was in short supply and contacted care homes to see if they would be interested in a supply of free equipment. The number of requests has spiralled and to date, we have circulated over 2000 high quality visors to many different organisations across the region.
“It is our way of thanking all those wonderful care workers and helping them keep safe.” Said Nicky Ashton, the Principal of Kepier. “The funding has enabled us to purchase materials and repair our old laser cutter, maximising the amount of visors we can make each day."
The grant from Karbon is covering the costs of the raw materials needed to produce the visors. Kepier will continue to manufacture visors whilst the school is closed.
Key2life Foodbank is a foodbank running in South Tyneside. The project supports the most vulnerable within the community, helping to feed over 5,500 people per year.
Amount received: £3,000
The foodbank, which is supported by South Tyneside Churches, is providing Family Feeding Packs to the most vulnerable families across the borough throughout the crisis.
Lots of families have been dipped below the poverty line suddenly with a 20% decrease to salaries due to furloughing or reductions in hours. Many of the families they support are also in receipt of free school meals and have not yet had any provision.
The funding from Karbon will allow the foodbank to add much needed toiletries and household items to this provision, as they have had lots of requests, products such as shower gel, shampoo, nappies, washing powder and sanitary protection.
The grant will go directly to supporting 300 families with the hygiene and non-food items.
Pendower Good Neighbour Project
The Pendower Good Neighbour Project offers a range of support services and activities for residents of all ages, living on the Pendower Estate in the West End of Newcastle. This includes after school and holiday activities for children from 0 to 17, Lunch Club, Craft Group & monthly outings for older residents, Credit Union services, Resident Association support, and lots of community activities and events.
Amount received: £600
The project is offering basic support for the families on the estate, particularly around accessing free food. As well as delivering food parcels once a week they are offering free bread and groceries at the project's Sunnybank centre each week which are coming from Sainsbury's.
The centre plans to add other items to their deliveries, including activity packs for children and care packs for older residents, to help promote positive wellbeing.
Ruth Taylor is the Senior Project Worker at the project.
"We were delighted to receive the news that we had secured funding from Karbon for our project as we were really keen to offer additional support to residents during this difficult and uncertain time.
“We had to close our centre to the public due to the coronavirus outbreak. We did this slightly before the lockdown was announced but it felt so sudden and abrupt and it didn’t give us much time to put proper support in place.“We have tried to continue to offer support by delivering food parcels to families who are isolating or struggling financially. These are supplied by Sporting Chance NE and we are very grateful for their support.
“As time went on it became clear that the issue was becoming more about isolation and loneliness and the toll it was taking on people’s mental health. We wanted to help spread a little cheer with weekly treats and activities and the opportunity to continue to chat to residents when we deliver them. This will help us to keep in touch with residents and to help them feel connected and supported."
“We hope to do a different children's activity pack and a treat for older residents each week.”
The grant from Karbon will cover the travel expenses incurred from collecting and delivering food parcels, the cost of any extra food items, and the printing costs for activity/care packs.
Prior to the Government advice to stay at home, Active Families NE were delivering four ‘Active Forever’ sessions per week in Sunderland that were designed to engage older residents.
As well as being interactive and designed to improving the physical well-being of attendees, the sessions also had an emphasis on friendship, communication and providing an enjoyable experience that contributed towards reducing levels of social isolation. The sessions were actively engaging with over 100 older people each week, who were enjoying a range of activities including, dance, games, keep fit, yoga & gym, as well as providing them with a healthy lunch and advice on leading a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Amount received: £1,000
Concern for the wellbeing of those who attended the sessions is growing, as the majority of them are now fully isolated, feeling apprehensive and are in need of support.
To help, Active Families NE is circulating a weekly posted newsletters which contains practical things they can continue to do within the home to stay healthy and active. It also includes a weekly quizzes to try and keep their spirits up and help keep their minds active.
In addition to this, the organisation is providing a befriending service to anyone in this area, offering virtual coffee and chat time slots with the 3 Active Family NE directors, who have the skills and experience to undertake this role. During and after these conversations they will sign post anyone who is struggling to other local support services available which can offer help with collecting shopping, picking up prescriptions etc.
Annfield Plain Community Centre
Annfield Plain Community Centre is a thriving hub for the area. Playing host to a range of activities and clubs, as well as support groups and drop ins, the centre offers a range of services designed to meet the needs of the local community.
Amount received: £1,000
The centre is home to the area’s foodbank, and due to the rise in financial distress caused by the crisis there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people needing to use it.
The funding from Karbon has allowed the centre to increase the FareShare deliveries it receives, as well as allowing them to purchase additional groceries, such as potatoes and vegetables, that they don’t receive through FareShare. These products will provide a much-needed boost to the foodbank, helping it to cater for more users who are in need.
The money will also help cover volunteer’s travel expenses so that food parcels can be delivered to residents who are isolating, as well as cleaning materials and protective items to keep volunteers safe.
Bacman’s Community Ltd
Bacman’s Community Ltd supports those who need help overcoming barriers.
Working in within the villages of Cresswell, Ellington, Linton and Lynemouth, the team works to enable residents in disadvantaged areas, whatever their backgrounds, to achieve their goals by enhancing their skills, attitudes and experiences.
Amount received: £1,000
The organisation, like many others, has had to change the focus of its work during the covid-19 as they can no longer offer the usual face to face service.
For the next few months Bacman’s is offering a telephone and internet service, so they can provide a friendly ear to those who need it, as well as continue to offer support with welfare advice and referrals to food banks.
Bacman’s is also working in partnership with the community link program in Northumberland, helping to match up those with a need (social isolated, can’t access food and essentials etc), living in the areas they cover, with organisations and volunteer groups that can help them.
Bournmoor, Fencehouses & Woodstone Village Community Support Group
Bournmoor, Fencehouses and Woodstone Village Community Support Group was developed in response to the Covid:19 crisis in order to offer support to the community
Amount received: £1,500
The support group volunteers are working hard to provide emergency food parcels to those in the community that are vulnerable and in need of a support.
By providing both fresh and frozen goods, as well as other essential provisions such as personal hygiene and domestic cleaning products, the group aims to support 25 households each week, consisting of a mix of both families who may be struggling financially due to the crisis, and older residents/residents with health conditions, who are isolating and vulnerable.
Briardale House is a community hub located in the Cowpen area of Blyth. With the aim of bringing the community together and providing a safe environment where centre users can thrive, Briardale offers a range of activities, classes and clubs, designed to offer something from everyone living nearby.
Amount received: £2,901
The centre is located in an area of South East Northumberland which has high social deprivation and child poverty. To ensure users of the centre and members of the local community who are most in need don’t go without food and essential supplies, the team of staff and volunteers has expanded the centre’s Meal on Wheels service.
Candice Randall is the Assistant Managing Director for the centre.
“In order to best support those most vulnerable within our community and as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Briardale House has made several funding applications to various sources over the past few weeks.
“Karbon Homes has been our most generous benefactor and with their support, we are now able to provide 25 meals every week, to those most in need. We are thrilled to be partnered with Karbon to expand our Meals on Wheels project and hope that this is the beginning of a new working relationship that will help us to reach and support more vulnerable people within our community.
Those that are currently benefiting from the service include individuals who have previously homeless, those recovering from substance addiction, families living in poverty, and elderly individuals regarded as lonely & isolated. This project makes a massive difference to the lives of these people and we are proud that with Karbon Homes’ backing, we can support these people through this challenging time”.
Crookhall Community Association
Crookhall Community Association manage the community offering for Crookhall and surrounding areas, providing a range of activities and services for the benefit of the local people.
The association had recently started work on refurbishing the community centre as it had been inactive for a number of years. The plan was to relaunch the centre just as the Covid:19 crisis.
The one element of the refurbishment that has been completed was the kitchen. So when approached by a group of local volunteers wanting to offer help to the most vulnerable in the area, the association agreed to open the facility.
Amount received: £1,000
Volunteers working from the centre have been offering community support through the delivery of food and prescriptions to those in isolation, and through friendly telephone contact.
The demand for the service has been incredibly high. Within the first two weeks of operations, 180 food parcels and 80 prescriptions were delivered, and 150 people were supported by friendly telephone contact.
Some who receive food parcels have been giving a donation to the service, but many are not in the position to do so - and so receive it free of charge.
As the demand continues to increase, the funding from Karbon will help cover the cost of buying food, as well as sourcing packaging for the transportation, providing volunteers with the necessary PPE, and travel expenses to ensure the deliveries can continue.
Dementia Matters is the only specialist dementia charity service provider in the North East. They support people living with the diseases through a range of dementia services, in their own homes, in day centres, and in a specialist dementia respite and residential centres.
Amount received: £1,000
The grant from Karbon will help Dementia Matters to keep its services running for as long as possible during the pandemic.
To keep services running, the charity requires extra staff and for existing staff to work longer shifts. The need for the home care service to continue is vital, as for many service users, the Dementia Matters staff are the only way they can access supplies, such as food and essentials. The staff also ensure service users have the right medication at the right time.
Dry Water North East
Based at the Dry Water Arts Centre in Amble, Dry Water North East is a community focused arts organisation. The centre itself provides the area with a strong community hub which focuses on health, wellbeing and social connections and uses creativity as the way to bring people together and get them involved.
Amount received: £2,400
Dry Water is providing support to vulnerable members of its local community who attended groups at the centre prior to the lockdown.
Intensive support is offered to a group of its most vulnerable group members, which includes carers, people living with dementia, and some with other complex health needs. This support involves the delivery of food, supplies and vital medications, daily phone calls, emails and texts, and the provision of resources, activities and reading materials.
The team are also working hard to keep its wider member community connected, through email, phone calls, and online messaging groups, working to combat social isolation and provide them with free resources that support positive wellbeing, such as daily exercises and relaxation techniques.
A vulnerable group member that Dry Water is currently supporting expressed their gratitude for the work the organisation is doing.
“Without the help and support from Dry Water I would be totally isolated and without medical supplies. I live on my own and am on the extremely vulnerable list so I can’t go out for 12 weeks. The phone calls, videos and support are keeping my spirits up and keeps me feeling connected with Dry Water team and my friends from the groups I attend there”
Frances Anderson, Director of Dry Water North East said: “Dry Water is delighted to have received a grant from Karbon Homes which will contribute towards supporting a group of isolated and vulnerable people. Everyone we are supporting attended groups at Dry Water prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, so we know them well and understand their needs. They trust us to help them and it’s fantastic that with this funding we’re able to do that.
"The grant will enable the Dry Water team to keep connections going, especially for those who are living with dementia and their carers who face very particular challenges during this period of confinement."
Durham Community Tennis Partnership
Durham Community Tennis Partnership is primarily a tennis coaching organisation, delivering tennis throughout County Durham to all ages abilities and backgrounds.
Recently DCTP set up a small 3D printing arm of the organisation to produce tennis aids to assist people with their playing.
Amount received: £550
Using the 3D printer, the partnership is printing face shields for the NHS, care workers, and front line staff, to protect them when dealing with the public and those in care.
The money from Karbon will provide the materials need to make this vital PPE.
FACT (Fighting all Cancers Together)
FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together) supports anyone affected by cancer in the North East in anyway in a non-clinical environment. From hubs across the region, the charity offers support in many forms, including exercise classes, holistic therapies, wig services, mastectomy wear, social groups and counselling services.
Amount received: £1,500
The charity has developed alternative means of helping to ensure service users still receive the support they need. Service users are often in the middle of their cancer journey, which is scary and can be quite lonely, and being there for them at this time is very important to the charity.
The biggest area of support is the delivery of kindness kits, which contain food, toiletries, and books, games and puzzles, to their homes. Many service users are shielding due to their condition and are left struggling to access food and medication.
The FACT volunteers are also offering telephone chats, to ensure service users’ mental health remains stable. Their levels of anxiety are being heightened due to the crisis, compounded by their pre-existing health conditions and sometimes their age.
Feeding Families mobilises communities to look after each other. Based in Bishop Auckland the organisation provides families across County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, who are facing challenging times and struggling to make ends meet with food hampers.
Amount received: £5,000
The grant secured from Karbon will help the organisation respond to the crisis, ensuring they can source food for the parcels, as well as manage the distribution project and meet any additional costs such as transport and extra food items.
Juliet Sanders is the CEO of Feeding Families
“Like everyone else, we were astonished at the speed and intensity at which the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Our carefully planned fundraising and work plan was blown out of the water within a few days and we were suddenly faced with a whole new landscape to work in.
"Like many other charities we didn't have the money to respond and so we had to start looking for organisations that we hoped would believe in us - and that was Karbon Homes.
“As a North East charity which delivers food to people in need, this project couldn't be closer to the essence of what we do, so we felt we were really well placed to have the expertise to respond. It was just a matter of using our knowledge and army of volunteers to get things going quickly. Within a short period of time we have established 7 centres around the region to manage our resources and get help where it is most needed.
“It is particularly important to us that we know people are in genuine need and so we have decided to partner with other local charities such as Age UK, Barnados and FACT, who already work with many who are in the shielded group where we decided we would focus our work. We will be taking referrals from these organisations and are standing by to deliver emergency food packs, either donated by our volunteers or with the funding we have received.
"Thanks so much to Karbon for the support!"
Walking with the Wounded
Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) is a military charity supporting veterans that have been left physically, mentally and/or socially disadvantaged as a result of their service. The aim of the charity is to enable service users to reintegrate back into society and find sustainable independence for themselves and their family.
Amount received: £1,200
As well as an increase in demand for the existing services it provides, WWTW has also found that many service users are in need of additional support through these difficult times.
The grant from Karbon is being used to supply and deliver food and emergency provisions to its most vulnerable service users and their families, many of whom are shielding due to health conditions.
Joel Oxberry is the Corporate and Sponsorship Development Manager at the charities Full Service Hub in Gateshead.
“Walking With The Wounded was delighted to receive news that we were successful in receiving a grant from Karbon Homes. In addition to helping us provide our services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it showed that there were organisations keen to help us in being a part of the solution to the crisis and that is really humbling for our team.
“Karbon Homes is helping us to support our most vulnerable service users. Through funding the hire of vans, the cost of petrol to deliver provisions, you are allowing us to support those that need us most. Additionally, you are helping those who once served to serve their communities once again.
Once of WWTW’s current service users, Michael, volunteered on a recent delivery and said in his feedback form: “These are dark times for a lot of families within the community, even I’ve been struggling recently. I know with help and support we can all get through this. Volunteering my time to help and support those struggling is the most rewarding feeling, supporting the community is vital.”
Ex-serviceman Scott Briggs, who is employed by Walking With The Wounded and who manages the volunteering programme, OP-REGEN said: “Many of the people we’ve delivered to have been low income families or the most vulnerable. During one of our visits we delivered to a blind gentleman; it really highlighted to me that there are people struggling as a result of this pandemic.”
Friends of Eastwood Park
Friends of Eastwood Park take care of Eastwood Park in Prudhoe. The organisation runs the Miners Lamp Community Café, located within the park, organises activities and events in the park throughout the year, and also provides a food bank and school uniform scheme.
Amount received: £1,000
Due to the crisis, Friends of Eastwood Park has seen a significant increase in requests for help with food, particularly from the elderly and single parent families in the area who have been left without support networks.
In response it has expanded it's food bank and is distributing food aid parcels, containing fresh produce and toiletries, on a daily basis across Prudhoe, Wylam, Mickley, Ovingham.
The grant secured from Karbon will help to cover the cost of food, packing boxes, and travel expenses for delivery.
Glenroyd House is a community centre in Consett, which aims is to provide a ‘one stop community service’ for residents of all ages in the area.
The group of dedicated volunteers behind Glenroyd House pride themselves on sustaining a community building that offers a varied range of activities that promote healthy living, team building, reducing social isolation, and employment opportunities, and provides a place for people to meet and get involved in community-based activities.
Amount received: £1,000
Despite having to close its doors, inline with government guidance, the team of volunteers at the centre are working hard to ensure the community are still able to access the services that run from there.
Gelnroyd House hosts Durham Food Bank, which is very much still in demand, and ‘Foods for You’, which is ran by Durham Christian Partnership and provides food to those who are not eligible for food vouchers or have exceeded their limit. Glenroyd House itself also subscribes to Fare Share and receives weekly donations of food which is distributed to the most vulnerable within our community.
The centre is working hard to coordinate the distribution of food parcels to individuals who are socially isolated due to age or disability and families and individuals who have lost income through job loss and are unable to access any immediate financial support.
They are also providing information advice and guidance to those in the community who are unable to access the internet, on services that are available to meet their needs, a friendly ear to those who need someone to talk to, and a newly set up DVD and book loan service, to help keep people entertained at home.
Great Lumley Methodist Church
Great Lumley Methodist is a community focused church, which prioritises supporting the people of the village and bringing them together.
Amount received: £2,500
The funding has guaranteed the ongoing viability of the church community project, which has been providing twice-weekly hot meals to vulnerable people in Great Lumley during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The grant has enabled the team to continue to purchase the ingredients needed to provide nourishing meals for those who are struggling to access supplies and keep themselves fed.
Tom Sterling is a member of the Great Lumley Methodist leadership team.
“It was always going to be a step of faith when the community of Great Lumley got together in March to try and do something to look after the needs of the most vulnerable in the village during the pandemic. Having to stay indoors was going to pose many practical problems for lots of people.
“We had to move quickly, and it didn’t take long to come up with the idea of providing hot lunches that could be delivered to people’s doorstep. The meals needed to be free of charge if they were to be genuinely helpful to those vulnerable people who were at greatest risk at this time.
“Word got round the village quickly that help was available and referrals from residents worried about elderly or infirm neighbours started to stream in via social media. Before long a few dozen meals had expanded to 100 meals each Tuesday and Friday lunchtime.
“The project has continued to expand as the weeks have gone by and dozens of enthusiastic and willing volunteers from the village have helped us plan, prepare, and cook meals, before packaging them ready for delivery. We also have a team of volunteer drivers who carry out the deliveries on a rota basis.
“We’re very thankful to Karbon Homes, as well as our County Councillors, the Parish Council, Lumley FC, and others in the community who have supported this project.”
Hadston House is a local community facility which provides a wide range of services and facilities for residents of all ages, all of which are based on the needs identified within the community.
Amount received: £2,840
From the centre’s community café, the team run a Meals on Wheels service which is incredibly popular in the community. When lock down started the team scaled up the operation to the support the most vulnerable in across Hadston and the surrounding areas of Widdrington, Broomhill, Ulgham and Amble, delivering meals as well as essential food, medicines and supplies.
The grant from Karbon will subsidise additional food, as well as the costs of the protective equipment for staff and volunteers to keep them safe while carrying out deliveries.
Scott Dickinson is the Managing Director of the Project
“Once the news hit about the pandemic we knew we needed to respond immediately to reassure our existing users and expand to cover those who would now not be able to see family and need support from someone. Many of the users of our services have been very be cut off and many haven’t seen anyone for the last 5 weeks.
“In week one we increased the offer of our meals on wheels services to vulnerable people to 7 days a week. We’ve been providing a range of home cooked meals and puddings daily, along with snacks and treats, to around 70 homes.
“It soon became clear that as well as meals, a prescription and essential shopping service was also really needed. With the help of our volunteers we had letters delivered to hundreds of households in the area sharing the news of what we were offering, and we are now providing this service daily to around 40 people.
“The Hadston House team has been amazing! Office staff turned into kitchen hands, youth workers turned into delivery drivers, and together we have kept everything going for the last five weeks.
“It hasn’t been without its challenges of people being off, 7 day working, and other things that we have had to adapt to, but the amazing efforts of all my team have been truly wonderful."
Hazelrigg and District War Memorial Community Centre
Hazelrigg and District War Memorial and Community Centre is a thriving community hub.
The group of volunteers who run the centre work tirelessly to bring people together to battle loneliness in the village. The centre is a safe space for people to come and feel part of a family.
Amount received: £500
The centre has been providing food parcels for the isolated and vulnerable members of the community in Hazelrigg, Dinnigton and Brunswick, helping to eliminating the need for residents to leave the house and put their health at risk. All volunteers are working hard to make sure no one is left hungry or alone during the crisis.
The funding from Karbon will help the centre to expand its food operation and provide residents with more fresh food donated through FareShare. The money will go towards more shelving and equipment to help store the fresh food correctly. With this expansion the centre will be capable of reach more people in need.
Hexham Community Centre
Hexham Community Centre exists to serve all sectors of Hexham's Community, As well as providing affordable meeting rooms and offices for local not for profits and start ups, the centre is home to a number of clubs and groups which aim to bring members of the community together.
Amount received: £480
The centre’s Open Arms and Luncheon Club have had to stop due to pandemic, but to ensure the centre users and others in the community who may be suffering in isolation still receive the support they need, the team is providing a number of services.
As well as setting up a meals on wheels style service, to replace the Luncheon Club and make sure centre users get a hot meal, and a books, jigsaw puzzles, games delivery service, to help keep people busy and entertained, the centre is also receiving FareShare donations.
The grant from Karbon is covering the delivery of these donations for a 12 week period, which has enabled the centre to provide residents in the area who are struggling, with extra groceries each week. The centre is currently delivering groceries boxes to 10 families and hot meals and bags of goodies to 40 older people.
Clare Mwande is the Community Centre Manager.
“I was really grateful to receive the grant from Karbon Homes, it has made quite a difference to people all over Hexham, some in Acomb and Corbridge too.
“As news has got around of what we were doing many more people have come forward to ask for help. We have had requests from all over the country from the sons and daughters of Hexham’s older people asking if we could send meals and groceries and keep an eye on them.
“In the last week we have hit full capacity for both the meals on wheels and the FareShare boxes. We already have a lengthy waiting list and if that list continues to grow we will look into further ways of meeting this demand.”
Just for Women
The Just for Women centre is a community based service, dedicated to empowering women and young girls through support, advice, counselling and bespoke programs which aim to better their physical wellbeing. Based in Stanley, the centre provides a safe space for women to develop skills and grow in themselves.
The centre also has an arm which supports men in the community who are struggling with their mental health, PTSD, and long term unemployment.
The centre is utilising its staff and dedicated volunteers to help provide a vital help line of support and advice. Thanks to the funding, the team can source and deliver crafting packs to elderly residents in the community who are alone, to keep their minds stimulated and promote positive wellbeing. They will also be providing personal hygiene hampers so they have access to vital items, as well as confectionery and fruit hampers, giving them a sweet treat to lift their spirits.
Linda Kirk is the founder and Director of Just for Women
“We’re really appreciative of the support Karbon Homes has given us to deliver our Covid-19 crisis response. During these difficult times we want to remind the elderly residents in North Durham that they aren’t alone and we hope our gift hampers will raise morale in times of high anxiety.
“Thanks to the funding we’ve received, we won’t just be distributing gift hampers in Stanley, but across the North Durham area from Consett to Chester Le Street. The team will be distributing over 1500 craft kits and hampers.”
To further their support in the local community, the centre has set up a helpline for anyone in need. There has been a surge in reports of domestic violence during the crisis. Demand for the service has been greater than expected, with nearly 300 enquiries to the inbox in the first week alone, and the surge is expected to spike further after the crisis, when women will flee.
Just For Women are working with local charities, housing associations, schools, refuges, and care homes in Stanley to identify and support at-risk families and individuals. The helpline number is 07395 906 647.
Justice Prince CIC
Justice Prince CIC set up in 2007 to support the active engagement, participation and involvement of people and communicates experiencing disadvantage and exclusion. Based in the Oxford centre Longbenton, the organisation delivers services and support to communities across the North Tyneside and beyond.
Amount received: £1,000
The Government advice to ‘stay at home’ has led to all the organisation’s daily group activities being put on hold. This has had a big impact on the service users, particularly those with limited social support networks and health issues.
In direct response to the Covid:19 crisis, Justice Prince has set up a free meals on wheels service, delivering dinners to people who are vulnerable, shielding, isolating and/or on low incomes, whilst providing them with a socially distance face-to-face interaction.
Karen Clark is the Chief Officer
“We were absolutely delighted to hear that Justice Prince CIC was successful in securing funding from Karbon Homes to support our new food initiative; Rainbows@justiceprince.
We have managed to maintain close contact with our service users through the lockdown via use of social media, telephone etc, and through this process have identified key concerns and needs around access to food, ability to prepare and cook hot meals and anxieties about being confined for prolonged periods of time particularly from those who live alone.
“Rainbows@justiceprince was set up in direct response to these issues and concerns. We are providing healthy three course hot meals delivered direct to the doorstep on a daily basis.
“Big thanks to Karbon Homes for supporting us with the costs of food supplies, which is vital for the production of the meals. Over 50 people have benefitted from the service to date which is amazing!
“Feedback from a recent evaluation of the service revealed what a phenomenal difference this is making to people’s lives. Many stated that this meal is their only meal of the day. Many also commented upon the important social aspect of the service and how good it was to have a visitor, to see a smiling face and how this made them feel cared for, less isolated and lonely.
The service is a clearly making a positive difference to the lives of our most vulnerable people during this very difficult time. Thank you Karbon Homes!”
Little Sprouts Health and Wellbeing
Little Sprouts Health and Wellbeing is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of its community
Via their mobile kitchen, the group’s cooking and food education projects are designed to inspire people of all ages and abilities in the kitchen, to make better food choices, whilst also building self-confidence and helping to reduce social isolation.
Amount received: £1,000
Little Sprouts Health and Wellbeing is continuing to support its communities through lockdown, particularly those members of the community who’s mental health is most likely to be impacted by increased isolation.
The 5 strong team is working hard to provide cooked, nutritious two course meals to vulnerable adults living in supported housing and elderly residents who are living in isolation. The team are also maintaining regular contact with their elderly clients by phone to support their wellbeing.
Little Sprouts are also working with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to support the school meal provision in the area. There are currently 6000 children in Stockton-on-Tees on free school meals, and a joint initiative has been developed to open school kitchens, to distribute cold packed lunch to up to 3000 children. Little Sprouts has volunteered its community hubs to act as collection points for parents/carers in the area to come pick up these meals.
The grant from Karbon will help cover the costs of surplus food needed to deliver the service, the packaging needed to transport food and supplies, and the travel costs associated with its delivery.
Longbenton High School
Longbenton High School is an 11-18 school in North Tyneside. The Curriculum Leader for Create and Technology, Mark Charlton was eager to utilise the laser cutter at the school to help during the pandemic.
Amount received: £1,000
The school is using the create and technology department’s laser cutter to cut PPE visors which are then being distributed to hospitals, doctors surgeries, care facilities and teams, and other frontline services across the North East.
The school has the capacity to make approximately 100 per day, with the grant from Karbon helping to cover the cost of the materials needed to make them.
Below is a letter from Mr Paul Quinn, Headteacher of Longbenton High School
“In these unprecedented times schools have faced new challenges as we have looked to serve the needs of our community as best we can.
“Our Curriculum Leader for Create and Technology, Mark Charlton became aware, through the Design and Technology Association, that some of the machinery within school could be used to make visors for frontline care workers.
"He discussed the matter with a friend who happens to be a surgeon at a local hospital and he was galvanised into seeing how we could help. He made some visors using materials and machines in school and these were extremely well received as PPE for staff in Newcastle hospitals. From this feedback, and what was appearing daily in the national media, it was obvious that there was a shortage of PPE and Longbenton High School could see that we had the ability to help.
“It was clear very quickly that we would need a lot more raw materials to make these visors. This coincided with financial year-end when it is very difficult for schools to make purchases and teachers were buying materials using their own credit cards as they could see the impact that these visors were having on frontline staff in desperate need of better PPE.
"On the school’s behalf, Mark made a bid to Karbon Homes for a community grant to support this work and we were delighted at their generosity (and rapid turnaround) in providing us with £1000 to purchase the raw materials to be able to make these visors. Without this grant we would have been able to make dozens of visors; with it we were able to produce hundreds.
“Posts put out by the school on social media about these visors were viewed tens of thousands of times leading to numerous requests from hospitals, care homes and other frontline services. It also led to offers of help from local businesses to use some of their machines to enable us to scale up production.
"At the time of writing we have provided more than 1500 visors and this figure will continue to rise as needs are identified and met. While Mark has been the key figure in all of this he has been supported in the assembly of these visors by a very willing group of school staff who are delighted to know that they are able to do something practical to help during this pandemic.
“Many thanks to Karbon Homes for supporting this work through your funding, it has made a real difference and support many key workers in having better PPE at the time of this pandemic."
Lynemouth Day Centre
Lynemouth Day Centre is a day care service which works to promote the relief and wellbeing, and improve the quality of life of elderly/vulnerable individuals in the community.
The centre’s facilities enable users to socialise and interact with other members of their community, maintain their independence and reduce social isolation, whilst providing essential and valuable respite for their carers and family members.
Amount received: £1,000
Due to the pandemic, the centre’s usual service has had to temporarily close. However, many service users still need a level of care and support in their own homes during this time.
The centre has altered its service into providing a home care offer, which includes delivering hot meals, and carrying out welfare checks to both its service users and their main carer/spouse, who in main cases have health issues of their own and are isolating.
Going forward the centre hopes to roll out its hot meal delivery service to other elderly and/or vulnerable people in the local community.
The grant from Karbon will help cover the costs that the centre has lost since having to close its day care service.
MHA North Shields Live at Home Scheme
MHA North Shields Live at Home Scheme offers daily lunch clubs, activity afternoons, intergenerational sessions and trips 134 members, mostly over 80 years old, to combat loneliness.
Amount received: £3,517
The effect of Covid 19 on scheme members has been devastating as many have lost their only point of socialisation.
The service relies heavily on community fundraising and due to the suspension of services its income from this source has stopped. The grant from Karbon will help with the continuation of the service during the crisis, and will help the service bounce back once restrictions are lifted.
As face-to-face support has had to stop, the team is operating a telephone befriending service, providing social conversations as well as vital signposting to other support services that members are often unsure of how to access, such as shopping, prescription collection, access to hot meals etc.
The scheme also has members living with dementia, and some of the groups not only offer a safe space and cognitive stimulation for them, but also support for their carers. Phone contact with these carers is essential to reassure them they have support as they are living long, lonely days under increasing amounts of stress.
Barbara Harland is the Live at Home Scheme Manager
“We’re working hard to make sure that the group of 134 people that we deal with are receiving person centred care from people they know and trust, a valuable commodity for our local community. We are giving time to each member to talk, offering advice to help them stay well.
“Our members have told us, ‘I feel less lonely when you ring’, ‘I miss seeing my friends at the group’, ‘Thank you so much for ringing me’, it keeps me going hearing a friendly voice.’
“As this pandemic is set to last into the foreseeable future, this service is essential. This daily interaction also adds continuity to our service, ensuring that when the time is right our service can resume with the minimum of disruption and that local people and communities have the confidence to venture to out when restrictions are lifted.”
North Tyneside Disability Forum
North Tyneside Disability Forum (NTDF) offers support activities to those disadvantaged by some aspect of disability or ill health. There work aims to ensure those of all ages have the opportunities, quality of life requirements, and life experience they need to gain confidence, competence, skill and resourcefulness to achieve a positive future.
Amount received: £1,000
Having closed the centre doors, as well as the community café, garden and shop, NTDF launched its ‘Mission Possible’ volunteer project, to continuing offering support to service users who are at highest risk due to the virus.
As part of the project, volunteers will utilise their partnerships with local shops and supermarkets along with their donations from FareShare, to provide emergency food parcels and provisions to service users who rely on them, many of whom don’t fit the criteria for GOV.UK emergency food parcel or food bank support.
The volunteers are also working hard to ensure they keep in regular contact with service users and their families, to ensure they’re coping and are getting help should they need it.
The grant from Karbon will help the project to cover the costs of extra FareShare deliveries, parcel packaging, volunteer PPE, and travel expenses acquired from parcel deliveries.
Ocean Choices South Tyneside provides day service support and care for people with learning disabilities and those living with dementia. By providing meaningful and life enhancing activities, the charity helps individuals to retain skills and remain a part of their community.
The organisation also provides valuable support for the carers, ensuring they have time to take for themselves.
Amount received: £500
The organisation applied for funding to ensure that those they support, who are now confined to there homes, continue to find stimulation that is relevant to their contact
The money will help towards providing resources, such as activity books and jigsaws, that will encourage users to stay mentally activity, which in turns helps sustain their mental wellbeing.
The charity is also working hard to stay in contact with people, especially carers, who may be feeling cut off from the outside world. The staff and volunteers are offering a errand service for those who are unable to leave the house because of their caring duties, to make sure they have access to all the essentials they need.
PACT House is a community café on Stanley Front Street, which since its set up in 2015 has evolved into a vital support organisation. Well used by many who live in the town and its surrounding areas, PACT House offers supported to those affected by poverty, isolation, homelessness, abuse and poor mental health.
Amount received: £1,000
The volunteers at PACT House have jumped into action to help combat the impact of the lockdown. The volunteers have been providing a free delivery service to those who are isolating and/or unable to access essentials such as food and toiletries, as well as carrying out specific shopping and prescription collections for those who are unable to get out the house.
Using their Fare Share donations the centre is also operating a fresh food bank and providing ready-made frozen meals such as casseroles, stews, mince and dumplings, plus some desserts, to those most at risk to ensure they have a regular supply of healthy meals.
The grant from Karbon will help the organisation to expand all the services they're offering, covering helping to cover a number of costs including supplies, packaging, and travel expenses.
Sacriston Community Association
Sacriston Community Association is a centre which provides a number of services to the local community of all ages.
Amount received: £1,000
During the Covid-19 pandemic, volunteers at the centre are supplying meals, twice a week, to the most vulnerable in the villages of Sacriston, Edmondsley, Nettlesworth and Witton Gilbert, including elderly residents over 70, those under 70 with underlying health conditions who are having to self isolate, and individuals/families who are struggling financially.
The funding from Karbon will cover the costs of fresh produce for the packed lunches and dinners, as well as volunteer PPE and travel expenses.
Sacriston Enterprise Workshops
Sacriston Enterprise Workshops were founded on the potential of bringing the old Co-op buildings in Sacriston back to their former glory, as a social enterprise and charitable hub. The aim of the hub is to help strengthen the community to become more resilient. It offers something for everyone, regardless of age, socio-economic circumstances, disabilities, or any other barrier they might face.
Amount received: £1,000
Sacriston Enterprise Workshops 'Food for Thought' programme is offering a number of support services during the crisis. These are personalised shopping, hot meal delivery, prescription collections, telephone befriending, and care packages.
Funding from Karbon is helping to cover the cost of supplies for care packages, which are being distributed to members of the community who are self-isolating or shielding, or are finding themselves in financial hardship.
The care packages are an "upgraded" food bank parcel, which include non-perishable foods, fresh eggs, milk and bread, cleaning products, toiletries, personal hygiene (sanitary and incontinence), and baby supplies such as nappies, wipes, baby food etc. SEW is utilizing wholesale suppliers and local independent retailers to maintain supplies for the care packages. All items are heavily discounting which is enabling them to stretch every pound.
Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust
Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust is a charity which was created to help people affected by cancer. Our aim is to help improve the quality of life of those affected by cancer. In 2019, Team Solan supported 126 families, offering personal support and advice, as well as established support groups in Spennymoor and Ferryhill that meet regularly.
On closing their charity shops in Ferryhill and Spennymoor, the trust decided to re-focus their staff and volunteers and add the delivery of care packages to the service they offer.
Alongside delivering care packages in several areas of County Durham, they are also continuing to operate the charity, which provides care services and support to their ‘Warrior family’ residents (those with any kind of cancer diagnosis).
These individuals can be older, living alone, vulnerable, isolated, and been on low incomes. Many are also on the Government’s critically vulnerable list and required to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
Ian Machin is the treasurer of the trust.
“Team Solan, and our friends and supporters in the Sacriston area, were over the moon to hear we were successful in receiving funding support from Karbon Homes. Adding Karbon’s support reinforces the “your community cares” message that everyone needs to hear through this.
“This funding will enable us to raise awareness of the service we offer and initially help support a small number of residents who are in real need. Delivery of these care packages, as well as regular phone calls during this period, will make a huge difference - improve wellbeing, lower anxiety, provide support, and show them that they’re cared for.
“We hope that this small project will provide evidence of the need in the area, help attract further funding so we can potentially expand our offer, and ideally encourage other local groups to join with us to collaboratively deliver a larger project.”
SPARCS, based in North Tyneside, supports families living with autism and other related conditions across the North East.
Ran entirely by volunteers the organisation runs affordable and accessible meet ups and events for families, providing opportunities for people to come together and socialise.
Amount received: £1,000
How funding from Karbon will help
During Covid:19 the organisation has been making up free healthy, fresh food parcels, which include many basic food items, and delivering them to families they support who are struggling.
Louise Holohan is the SPARCS Chairperson.
“For many parents/caring who are looking at someone with autism, shopping can be difficult at the best of times, but when they are unable to access the support of family, friends, school, or childcare, it often becomes impossible. There are also a number of the families we support who are shielding, as children in the household are considered high risk because of medical conditions, and are struggling to get essentials in as they are having to stay home.
“On top of this, many of our families are on benefits or low wages, and a number have learning disabilities themselves and/or poor mental health and find it difficult to budget for shopping. These families depend on us all year round to help them out with donated food, and now it is more important than ever that we provide for them.
“Demand for our parcels is growing every week and we are spending more and more. The mental and physical health of our families is paramount to us and this is why we try to include as much of a healthy variety as possible.
“This funding from Karbon will help ensure that we can continue to provide this vital service for the duration of this crisis and hopefully beyond.”
Wear Valley Women's Aid
Wear Valley Women’s Aid is a refuge in Bishop Auckland, which provides emergency temporary accommodation to women and children fleeing domestic abuse. As well as emergency accommodation, we provide emotional support to these families as they make their journey from victim to survivor of abuse.
Amount received: £400
Residents at the refuge are all social distancing and due to heightened levels of anxiety many are finding it difficult to go out to buy food and essentials. The traumas they have experienced in abusive relationships often leave them afraid to venture outside, especially if they are previously from this area.
The majority of the residents are also in receipt of benefits which leaves many struggling to afford provisions.
As the food donations that the refuge would have previously received from the general public have depleted due to the crisis, the grant from Karbon will help the Wear Valley Women’s Aid team to provide food and hygiene items for current residents and stock up the communal kitchen cupboard supplies for future families staying at the refuge.