May 29, 2020 @ 10:01 by Steven Hugill
A Northumberland charity providing meals for elderly and vulnerable people aims to extend its provision after gaining financial support from a family-owned firm.
Hadston House Youth and Community Project has been awarded a £1000 grant from miner, land developer and renewables operator Banks Group.
The charity says the cash, from the Banks Community Fund, will support efforts to further its reach, with demand having almost doubled since the outbreak of coronavirus.
Its regular Meals On Wheels service supports older people living between Warkworth and Ulgham with a daily hot lunchtime meal and dessert.
John Shepherd, project assistant at Hadston House, said: “Before the pandemic, we’d usually deliver around 30 meals every day, but with many residents now shielding in their homes, this figure is up to 50 and we’re expecting to see it rise still further.
“The grant is helping us meet the extra costs of growing our service and enabling us to make it available to more older and vulnerable people across Northumberland at the time they need it most.
“We’ve still got capacity to increase the number of meals we’re delivering and are keen for anyone else who thinks we might be able to help to get in touch.
Hadston House is the latest group to be provided with emergency financial support from Banks Group, which has also applied community funding from its wind farms and surface mines across the north of England and Scotland to assist with projects.
Since the beginning of April, grants worth more than £55,000 have been awarded to 36 community projects tackling problems caused by COVID-19.
Jeannie Raine, Banks Group community relations manager, added: “Our funds are designed to bring direct, long-term benefits to local communities.
“In this unprecedented time, we felt it only right to step up to support our local communities where it’s most needed.
“The Hadston House team is doing fantastic work to support vulnerable local residents, and we’re proud to be able to help those local community groups working to tackle and overcome extremely challenging circumstances.”