STAFF members at leading contact centre Echo-U have joined forces to ensure that those in need in the region won’t go hungry this autumn, by donating a huge collection of items to Newcastle West End Foodbank.

Upon hearing the news that Newcastle West End Foodbank, which is Britain’s largest foodbank, was suffering from a significant lack of supplies this summer, Echo-U’s Newcastle team sprang into action to help.

Located in the heart of Newcastle’s quayside, the Newcastle team collected a wide variety of items including cereals, rice, pasta, tinned goods and toiletries to deliver to Newcastle West End Foodbank in Benwell. The contribution will go towards ensuring that the foodbank’s shelves are stocked back up before the colder days creep in after the summer.

David Blakey, co-founder and joint managing director, at Echo-U, said: “Being headquartered in Newcastle, the plea for donations from Newcastle West End Foodbank really hit home and we really wanted to offer our support. The foodbank does fantastic work in the region and we’re pleased that we could offer some help to their visitors.”

Since opening in 2013, Newcastle West End Foodbank has grown to be the largest foodbank in the UK and in 2016 fed more than 40,000 people. Part of The Trussell Trust, the foodbank offers three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis.

Carole Rowland, Volunteer at Newcastle West End Foodbank, said: “The two days before Echo-U’s donation we had given out our last can of tinned tomatoes, which may not seem like much to some but paired with a packet of rice or pasta and a tin of tuna, this can be a full meal for a family.

“We are helped tremendously by Newcastle United and we set up a food and money collection near the stadium before each match, but with the season not running over the summer and the great weather we had in the region, we noticed that our donations had dropped and we were struggling dramatically.

“The help from Echo-U ensures that dozens of people in need across the region are not going hungry.”

Echo-U has supported many charities in the past through a variety of activities including charity treks, fundraising and donations. Most recently, the team at the Bournemouth office raised money for Hope For Food foodbank, a Bournemouth foodbank which had been trashed in June this year, to assist with the replenishing of essential items.