We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of applications that have come in from organisations of all shapes and sizes, which are doing incredible work to support our communities through these difficult times.
We’re proud to be able to support the local efforts that are helping our communities through this crisis and help those who are most vulnerable.
The community fund is still open for applications. Apply for support online today.
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.
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
A number of the parents and carers who use the Tanga Club have found they are really struggling mentally with the lockdown. A big part of the work the club does it help parents and carers to reduce stress and anxiety and it is clear that that area of support is needed now more than ever.
To help combat this, the club is running a recorded weekly relaxation session for parents/carers, which is ran by a qualified practitioner and can be completed by the parents at their own pace.
They are also running weekly social catch up sessions virtually to discuss how things are going and also providing homework activities to help them reinforce the techniques used.
This will form part of an overall package of self-care that the club aims to deliver to the parents. As well as this, the club has put together a pack of activities for the children to help them stay occupied during the long days.
The grant from Karbon will help cover the cost of these initiatives.
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 email@example.com
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.”
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.
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.
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.