Fenwick is playing its part in supporting its local communities during the Covid-19 crisis by partnering with Street Zero, donating to Citylife Line, providing drivers for Fare Share and using its supply base to source PPE kits for council care homes and key workers.

 Street Zero

The partnership with Street Zero, the Newcastle homeless charity established with the aim of eliminating rough sleeping in the City by 2022, sees the launch of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund which will help support people, previously living on the streets and who are now in self isolation in hostels. The Fund primarily focuses on enabling these individuals to remain in hostels for the duration of the crisis to try to keep them safe.

Bob Eldridge, the Street Zero chairman says “This financial support is for Partner charities to provide safe self-isolating packs for vulnerable hostel residences, many of whom before Covid-19 were living on the streets. This support will help them remain in their accommodation throughout this difficult time and encourage individuals to change the way they live for good. I personally want to thank Fenwick for their support to the city at this very difficult time. It is truly an amazing business response.”

Fenwick is a long-time supporter of the charity. Leo Fenwick joined the Street Zero Board in 2018 and has undertaken several fundraising activities, most recently participating in the Great North Run last year, when he raised £30,000.

Leo added: “We hope that this donation will help support Street Zero’s critical work with the homeless in Newcastle. The Covid-19 pandemic has put the most vulnerable people in the city even more at risk, and Street Zero’s work is needed now more than ever”.

Fare Share volunteers

The team from the retailer’s Killingworth-based warehouse operation are supporting charity Fare Share who distribute food to the vulnerable and to local food banks. Thanks to the logistics team who normally deliver products to Fenwick stores across the north, they will be driving two additional routes in Fenwick vans taking ambient food products to newly established hubs across the region, who in turn will then distribute it to  the most vulnerable.  This additional capacity allows the charity to get food to more individuals and support the extra demand at this time.

Six furloughed colleagues from the Killingworth warehouse have all asked to support the initiative which commenced this week.   Each colleague will work on a rotational basis, collecting from the local Fare Share warehouse and taking the much-needed food onto the local hubs.

Iain Thomson, Head of Logistics,  whose team came up with the idea to undertake voluntary work to support the local community while they were on furlough said: “ The team said they wanted to make use of their time in a positive way and do something to really help their local community and suggested driving for Fare Share.  Fenwick immediately supported us working with Fare Share, letting us use the delivery vans the team would normally be driving anyway to help get food and supplies out to those who are suffering the most during this crisis.”

Citylife Line funding

Citylife Line is a new service aimed to support the most vulnerable Newcastle residents during the Covid-19 outbreak.  The impact of coronavirus has put many people in Newcastle into poverty and a huge effort to minimise the effects of this has been mobilised. Fenwick is donating to the fund to help ensure those struggling have a direct helpline to the support they need whether it be for food, getting prescriptions or they just need someone to talk to.

Many charities that support these vulnerable groups are beginning to run low on resources.  Citylife Line have put in staff to help and have launched a fund-raising campaign to assist as well as securing a donation from Newcastle Council.

Residents in Newcastle can now make direct donations to help the city pull through the coronavirus outbreak.

Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Citylife Line was established to make sure those who needed help received the necessary support and I am delighted so many people have made use of the service instead of struggling in silence.

“I would urge people to continue getting in touch with us. If you need food supplies, prescriptions collecting or even just someone to talk to, let us know.

PPE Equipment supply 

Fenwick has introduced Newcastle City council to its UK based supply chain to source much needed PPE equipment for Care homes and key workers in the city. It hopes that this will ensure that people most in need have the appropriate protection. As well as opening up their supply chain, Fenwick will make an initial donation towards funding the much-needed equipment.