County Durham Food bank expands with £400,000 Big Lottery grant

A volunteer sorts food into boxes Image copyright Durham Christian Partnership
Image caption The Durham Christian Partnership estimates around 25,000 people will use its foodbanks

A food bank covering County Durham will expand after getting a £400,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Durham Christian partnership will use the money to increase the number of food distribution points, provide debt advice and take on a further 60 volunteers.

The food bank is one of 10 groups in the region to receive a share of a £2.7m pot from the lottery.

Debt help services and disadvantaged youths also received funding.

Peter MacLellan, chairman of trustees of Durham Christian Partnership, said: "In three years the food bank has grown from one distribution point to 25 and provided three days of food to more than 15,000 people in the last 12 months - up from 10,803 in the previous 12 months.

"Low income, debt and issues with the benefit system have been the major causes of crisis."

Other recipients include Northumberland-based charity DAWN which will receive £428,950 to continue a free telephone debt advice service for people across the North East and Cumbria.

Escape Intervention Services will use £458,950 to put on activities for disadvantaged or vulnerable youths in South Tyneside while Friends Action North East received £496,330 to provide support to adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

Nouveau Fitness Community Interest Company will get £256,387 to encourage people in Hartlepool to be more healthy and active while the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) is being given £262,625 to support and provide friendship for isolated older residents in Stockton.

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