An independent charity which helps to feed and support scores of vulnerable people across deprived North East communities has received a four-figure cash boost from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation.
Destiny Streetworx runs regular soup kitchens and outreach activities across Newcastle and Gateshead, as well as providing a range of other services which offer practical and emotional support for homeless people and other in challenging situations.
Demand for the charity’s help has grown significantly since it was set up in 2008, with around 150 people turning up for a hot meal every week compared to just a third of that number seven years ago, and with some people travelling from other parts of the North East to access help.
Destiny Streetworx has now been nominated by staff at Newcastle Building Society to receive a £2,000 donation from the fund, which will go towards meeting its regular running costs.
The charity was established when the Glasgow-based Destiny Church established a new branch in Newcastle, and Joanne Foden, who had carried out similar work in Glasgow, moved to the North East to carry it on.
A team of around 40 volunteers work on a rota basis to ensure people are always available to carry out the charity’s evening work, as well as to staff its Drop-in Days on Wednesday lunchtimes where homeless and those in need can call in for a chat and advice, as well as get a sandwich, tea and cake.
Joanne Foden says: “Most of the people that we see become regular visitors, so we get to know them and can provide support which meets their individual needs, but we’re always open to helping anyone that comes our way.
“The provisions for homeless people around the North East probably aren’t as comprehensive as they are in Glasgow, which means there’s always great demand for the help and support we try to provide.
“We carry out a lot of activities to raise the money we need to maintain our services, and receiving generous donations like this one from the Newcastle means we can spend more of our time helping those who need us most.”
Destiny Streetworx is one of ten regional good causes to which donations have been made by the Newcastle this year after they were nominated by staff across its branch and Head Office network.
The initiative is the latest in a line of supportive measures that the Society has provided to the communities right across the North East.
Pauline Baldwin, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Northumberland Street branch, which is nearby the head office of the charity, adds: “As a mutual organisation, we’re keen to support the communities in which we work as much as we can.
“The work that Destiny Streetworx carries out has a hugely positive impact on so many vulnerable people in our city and beyond, and we’re very pleased to be able to helping their cause.”
The Newcastle’s donations were made possible via an endowment fund held with the Community Foundation. For more information on Destiny Streetworx, visit www.destinitystreetworx.co.uk