North East Connected

Bellway backs Christmas hampers project to help people in food poverty in the North East

The Bellway team, including Sales Director Emma Chesterton, and Land and Planning Director Miles Crossley sat around their table at the event enjoying the entertainment-357f5080

The Bellway team, including Sales Director Emma Chesterton, and Land and Planning Director Miles Crossley sat around their table at the event enjoying the entertainment

A charity that supports people experiencing food poverty in the North East has been given a boost by a local homebuilder.

Bellway North East, which has its regional head office in Gateshead, was one of the sponsors of a fundraising gala dinner held last month to raise funds for Feeding Families, which helps those in need who are unable to use food banks.

The event took place at The Grand Hotel, Gosforth Park, with Bellway donating £1,000 as an event sponsor.

All the money raised will help Feeding Families put together Christmas hampers that will allow people who would not otherwise have any kind of festive celebration to put together a meal and enjoy some treats.

Feeding Families CEO Juliet Sanders explained that the organisation is seeing demand for its services going through the roof as the cost of living increases – and those same financial pressures mean that the donations they receive are significantly down.

She said: “Never more so than now have we felt the critical importance of our existence as a charity to support families in desperate need and put food on their tables. To consider that some families not only can’t afford to buy enough food, but also can’t afford to cook it, is absolutely heart-breaking.

“This is why the support we have received from Bellway is so important. We are very grateful to the team for not only sponsoring our first Gala Dinner, but also attending on the evening and adding to the donations we received on the night. We look forward to building – excuse the pun! – on this relationship.”

Feeding Families is based in Blaydon-on-Tyne and helps people in food poverty all over the North East including the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Cleveland areas. However, it is not a food bank. It provides food boxes – via third party organisations – to those who are in need but who would find it difficult or impossible to visit a food bank.

That includes people with mental or physical health difficulties, patients undergoing treatment for cancer, refugees and asylum seekers, and people who are at work during the day.

Emma Chesterton, Bellway North East Sales Director, said: “I am so impressed with what Juliet and her team at Feeding Families are doing for people in food poverty in this area. They are offering a real lifeline to people who are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

“Bellway was pleased to be able to give the Feeding Families gala dinner a boost with our sponsorship donation and our backing for the important work they are doing to help people who are in food poverty but who would not be able to access help from a food bank.

“Christmas might seem a little way off, but Feeding Families is working hard right now to make sure that people who might have nothing at all over the festive season, can make themselves a meal and have a few treats.”

Feeding Families started out by distributing hampers to people in need at Christmas in 2018. Since then, the service has expanded to a year-round operation helping thousands of people.

The organisation puts together food boxes and works with partner organisations such as social services, housing associations and cancer charities. It provides the food boxes, and those organisations on the ground distribute the supplies to those who need them.

The charity also provides what they call a ‘Welcome Home’ box, which can be a lifeline for people who need help when they are returning to a home where there will be no food. This includes patients discharged from hospital, as well as young people leaving care and ex-offenders who are just out of prison.

The gala dinner is an important fundraiser for Feeding Families as it works to bridge the gap between dwindling donations and increasing demand, Juliet explained. But she also sees it as a chance to raise awareness of what they do.

Last year the organisation gave out 9,000 boxes at Christmas and Juliet says she is determined that they will provide as many as they can this year, so that people in need get the chance of a celebration, a treat at Christmas and most of all, that they know people care about them.

To find out more about Feeding Families, visit

Bellway North East is building new homes across the region. More information is available at

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