• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

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Ashington Charity Providing Community Support In The Round Thanks To Newcastle Building Society Backing

(from left) Andrew Wisbach of Full Circle Food with Stephen Burt and Natalie Mortimer of Newcastle Building Society

More than 100 people in a Northumberland town have been keeping warm through the winter thanks to the work of a local charity and funding from Newcastle Building Society.

Full Circle Food in Ashington used a £3,000 Society grant to cover the costs of opening the doors of its Hirst Park headquarters to local people as a ‘warm space’ during the coldest part of the year.

The funding enabled the charity to provide hot meals and soup, facilities for washing clothes and access to a wet room for showering to its visitors, most of whom live in the surrounding area, and complemented the offer of basic goods from its food pantry to those most in need.

The project saw around 50 local people attending the charity’s premises on a regular basis, with the same number again dropping in more infrequently.

Funding also allowed the Full Circle team to identify more ways in which support can be provided to its beneficiaries to help improve their well-being.

The grant has been provided through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which offers grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network.

Full Circle Food works to support people living in Northumberland in relation to growing food to eat, healthy cooking on a budget, waste reduction, and the impact food production has on local and global eco-systems.

Its community garden offers the opportunity to learn about growing food and plants from seed, and can provide a quiet space for reflection in the sensory garden, while the charity also runs cooking classes which help local people learn how to make tasty recipes and manage a food budget.

Andrew Wisbach, Operations Manager at Full Circle Food, says: “The last few months have been tough for a lot of people as the cost-of-living crisis starts to make a real impact and we want to provide a space that gave the most vulnerable members of our community somewhere safe and warm to spend some time.”

“The extra support we’ve been able to provide has been very well received, especially by local people who’ve told us that they wouldn’t have known where else to go.”

“As well as meeting immediate needs, creating new community links has helped support more people into further projects to tackle wider issues through expert partners.

“Newcastle Building Society’s support couldn’t have come at a better time, and with a lot of different spending priorities to cover, it’s enabled us to do much more than would otherwise have been possible.”

Stephen Burt, Manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Ashington branch, adds: “The Full Circle team has stepped up to meet a clear local need during difficult times and has further increased its positive impact on the local community’s well-being.”

Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund at the Community Foundation has also contributed over £2.3m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Prince’s Trust.

The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.