A Year of Food Provision for those in need and the Creation of a New Job

Over five thousand care packages for the Teesdale community, thanks to TCR Hub, local businesses, Fairshare and a host of amazing volunteers. Now it’s time to recruit an excellent person to help coordinate the next stage of the TCR Food Provision

 After a year of providing support for the Teesdale community, Rachel Tweddle reflects on the journey of TCR Hub and it’s fantastic team of volunteers right through to this week, when the community charity is seeking to hire a new member of staff to help with the next steps in community food provision.

It is hard to believe that a year ago, we had yet to deliver our first food package to a Teesdale resident. I came up with the idea as everyone was reeling from the news of the pandemic and Lockdown, after talking with community leaders and volunteers from the Hub. We were determined to take positive action to provide real help to those who were facing the frightening prospect of job losses and business closures, and to those who wanted to continue to serve their community.

It lies at the core of what TCR Hub stands for. TCR literally stands for Teesdale Community Resources and that is what this Food provision has been, and indeed continues to be all about. And it was absolutely brilliant how our community responded. Having set up a Gofundme page at the very start of the mission to help feed those in need in our community, over £1500 was raised by the 3rd of April 2020, all of which was used to purchase fresh food for local people who were struggling. The total raised is now at £30,000, thanks to the kindness of people giving from their own pockets to help those most in need here in Teesdale.

Grants have helped us every step of the way including donations from Durham Community Action for branded hoodies so vulnerable people could be sure it was safe to open their door and get help through the pandemic – knowing that the caller was genuine and grants from Teesdale Action Partnership towards our running costs to enable projects to continue during the pandemic.

Morrisons in Barnard Castle have provided countless amounts of food that we use to ensure packages give people what they need. Gillian has been such an amazing supporter, from providing pizza packages for families to brighten up a winter week to providing boxes of biscuits for our amazing volunteers as a thank you for their generous and dedicated service. We’ve also worked with Rachael and Mary from the Co-op stores in Barnard Castle and Tom from the Middleton store.

We at TCR Hub quickly got involved with a range of charities who work in this area including the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, Fairshare. From our first collection on 16th May 2020, our amazing team of volunteers have collected 268 loads of food that would otherwise have gone into landfill, resulting in 12,729 meals worth of food from Tesco stores in Catterick, Bishop Auckland and Newton Aycliffe.

In total, we have delivered over five thousand care packages over the past year with over forty volunteers delivering to homes from Bowes to Evenwood, Middleton in Teesdale to Gainford and many places in between.  Five thousand deliveries of food to those who need it most.

And we continue to take referrals today, from Teesdale YMCA, Schools, Age UK, neighbours or self-referrals.  This is why we have now secured funding for a new person to join the team and are seeking our Food Provision Coordinator to help drive this amazing campaign forward.

For an application pack and more information, visit our website and select https://www.tcrhub.co.uk/opportunity-to-join-tcr-team-with-a-new-role-food-provision-co-ordinator/ If you would like to find out more, head to www.tcrhub.co.uk for more information or contact TCR Hub by email at info@tcrhub.co.uk

All that remains to be said is a massive thank you to you, the people of Teesdale who have supported this project from the off. It just goes to show what we can achieve when working together for the good of all.

Rachel Tweddle, CEO T C R The Hub

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