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Festive Funding Helps Deliver Christmas Cheer

A little extra festive cheer is on the menu for older people across South Tyneside this Christmas, thanks to almost £10,000 of community funding.

Residents in the Borough's Housing Plus schemes will be treated to turkey and all the trimmings after Community Area Forum (CAF) grants were distributed.

Cllr Bell with residents of Henley House who have distributed hampers

Cllr Bell with residents of Henley House who have distributed hampers

The funding will be used to deliver Christmas dinner or a hamper to residents, who have seen their annual parties cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions.

Linda Hurren, a resident at Henley House in Boldon, helps run the tenants' social committee and along with fellow resident Gloria Laidler, arranged for festive gift bags to be distributed with the £340 grant they received, following a recommendation by elected members of the Jarrow and Boldon CAF.

She said: "We thought it would be a nice idea to give residents a goody bag as we can't have a party.

"We really miss meeting each other socially; we wanted to boost people's morale and spread some Christmas spirit."

Cllr Joanne Bell, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: "The pandemic has made this a really tough year for everyone, but I think a lot of older people, in particular, have felt lonely and isolated because of the restrictions.

"Normally during the festive season, residents in our Housing Plus accommodation would be able to enjoy social events like Christmas parties but obviously they can't go ahead this year.

"We're delighted that this CAF funding can help spread a bit of seasonal cheer."

There are five Community Area Forums in the Borough and £9,223 has been awarded to various Housing Plus schemes and residents' associations which bid for grants, as well as to a nursery and infant school to allow it to hold class bubble parties for the children.