Appeal gets off to a flying start

Al Wales (left) from Hartlepool Food Bank accepts a �100 donation from Elizabeth Carroll from IntraHealth outside the Mail offices.
Al Wales (left) from Hartlepool Food Bank accepts a �100 donation from Elizabeth Carroll from IntraHealth outside the Mail offices.
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THE Mail-backed We Can Do It campaign got off to a healthy start with another hefty £100 donation.

Award-winning NHS primary care services provider IntraHealth responded just hours after the public appeal was launched.

With more and more people plunged into financial crisis, the town’s first foodbank will soon open its doors and the Mail is backing calls for food donations to help feed hard-up families.

Vouchers will be given to the poverty-stricken people to claim a three-day food parcel.

The Hartlepool Foodbank initiative is run by Churches Together and UK-charity Trussell Trust who are hoping to stockpile three tonnes of food to feed the poor.

Supermarket giant Asda, in the town’s Marina Way, has already backed the appeal with £150 worth of food and IntraHealth has now helped swell the coffers.

As well as the £100 donation the company will also be encouraging staff at its practices to collect unwanted non-perishable goods.

IntraHealth runs medical centres at Hartfields and at Wynyard Road and is a keen supporter of local appeals and fundraisers.

Patient and community liaison officer Elizabeth Carroll said: “We play an active role in the community and we are delighted to be able to help with this initiative.

“It is vital that organisations come together to help those in crisis and it’s wonderful to see the town’s local newspaper throwing it’s weight behind such a worthy cause.

“If other organisations get on board I’m sure the campaign is something that really can be done.”

Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator said: “We are hoping to link up with as many people as possible and this is a brilliant gesture.

“It comes just hours after the appeal was launched and we are extremely grateful to IntraHealth for taking such swift action.

“It gets everything off to a great start and it is fantastic to have the support of such an established company.

“It is a wonderful, community-spirited gesture.

”The foodbank is about helping families in crisis and it is about listening to people.

“The whole process is very dignified and there is a massive need out there.”

Donations will be made into hampers and the boxes will then be handed out at a distribution centre, based in Church Street.

From there, people in crisis will be able to collect the food parcels after being issued with vouchers from the likes of GPs, social workers, church leaders and also the JobCentre.

The distribution centre, at 28 Church Street, will open for the first time on Tuesday, October 2, between 11am and 1pm, and this is the first chance for people to donate non-perishable food items.

Organisers need to collect three tonnes of food before Hartlepool Foodbank can start handing out food parcels and the aim is to be up and running before Christmas.

Churches Together is a collaboration of volunteers from many churches across the town and they have been instrumental in setting up the foodbank.

Nationally, Tesco has also pledged its support to host collection days and also provide vouchers to stock up the foodbank.