New Tricks star to open food bank

Alun Armstrong
Alun Armstrong

North East actor Alun Armstrong will officially launch a flagship project delivering hot meals to families and individuals in crisis next week.

Armstrong, who played retired detective Brian Lane in BBC series New Tricks, is supporting The People’s Takeaway service delivered by East Durham Trust in Peterlee.

It is being seen as a natural addition to the trust’s foodbank that has operated for the last seven years and will see hot meals prepared and delivered to individuals and families facing hardship.

At an event on Tuesday, Armstong will present certificates to volunteers involved in the project and formally launch the project at the trust’s base at Community House in Peterlee.

Malcolm Fallow, Chief Executive of the East Durham Trust said: “With the continued austerity measures and major cuts to benefits, many local people are struggling to make ends meet.

“The current situation with the school holidays and the growing reliance on free school meals is a poignant example of how desperate some people are.

“We are finding that emergency food is a lifeline for more and more people.”

The People’s Takeaway project has been made possible with support from Comic Relief and a crowdfunding appeal which together raised over £20,000.

It has paid towards the installation of kitchen facilities, recruitment and training of a team of volunteers, and will pay for running costs including ingredients.

County Durham-born Armstrong has a hugely impressive career with parts ranging from the iconic movie Get Carter to period dramas and nine years with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Although he now lives in the South East, he continues to support causes close to his roots.

He is a leading figure in the Marra’s Movement which seeks to ensure the continuation of the Durham Miner’s Gala.

The trust is the flagship voluntary and community Sector organisation for the area.