Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North, paid a visit to Throckley Community Hall to find out about the fantastic work they have been doing to help local residents during the pandemic.

Every Friday morning, a group of local volunteers get together to prepare over a hundred food parcels to deliver to families and individuals that need some extra help. They rely solely on donations and grants in order to continue this provision and collaborate with organisations such as Active Newcastle in order to use the deliveries as an opportunity for outreach and education regarding living a healthy lifestyle and tackling health inequalities in the area.

Delivery of the food parcels is made possible due to a collaboration with Inspire Youth, in addition to help from local volunteers. In recent weeks, the volunteers have been collecting donations of Easter eggs so that no child will go without this year, as well as items for special Easter hampers for the elderly. This is just one of their plans to make a positive impact on the local community at this challenging time.

Catherine was delighted to meet with Councillor Linda Wright, Labour Councillor for the Callerton and Throckley Ward and former Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne, who plays a key role in facilitating this fantastic community service. She heard from Office Manager, Michelle, about the ambitions held by the Community Hall for the future, with hopes of setting up a food pantry similar to those established close to the City Centre, but which there is currently no provision for in the Outer West.

They are also working hard to tackle local antisocial behaviour in the vicinity, helping local young people to access education, employment and work-based skills, while raising their aspirations. Despite the limitations due to the current Coronavirus restrictions in place, Michelle and her team have instigated innovative and effective ideas such as a digital jobs fair.

Following the visit Catherine said:

“It was a real privilege to see the foodbank in action today. The fantastic community spirit that thrives at Throckley Community Hall is truly uplifting and the collaboration between different groups and individuals is so impressive.

“The team of volunteers are a real inspiration and the impact they are having in the local community is clear to see.”