‘This is about offering extra help’ – officers support food project for vulnerable residents
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Officers will be delivering food hampers to struggling families and isolated residents after joining forces with a local authority and a charity for the scheme.
Newcastle Neighbourhood Policing Team have been bundling up packages of food for people who need an extra level of support with officers continuing to identify families they feel are struggling and need help.
The caring initiative has been coordinated by the Newcastle-based Realise charity, who support people across North Staffordshire, with Newcastle Borough Council and the area’s police officers helping to identify those in need and support with deliveries.
Sergeant Kramer Caldwell, of Newcastle NPT, says the project is an ongoing initiative with officers looking out for anyone who may be struggling. He said: “We have been asked to identify people who are vulnerable or isolated. This is all about working together to help those who need us across the borough and show that extra support is available.
“Our officers have already identified a number of people who they have come across and we will be delivering the food hampers. It can range from those on a low income to elderly residents.
“There is no special criteria to be met, it is just about helping those we feel would benefit from it.”
Realise have collected in a wide variety of food including a range of long-life products, which have been sent over to the Newcastle officers, who have been busy putting them into packages.
Sgt Caldwell added: “This will be something which we will continue to do and isn’t just confined to the Christmas time. It may be we attend an elderly person’s home, who has reported some anti-social behaviour and while we can look into that problem, we may believe they need some help with food and therefore take some along as well.
“Our role is not just about solving crimes but supporting the vulnerable in the communities we serve.”
Geoff Beadle, Charity Programme Manager at Realise, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with officers in Newcastle to offer ongoing support to our communities following this challenging past year.
“The local groups and charities we’ve worked with have all pulled together to create the best possible Christmas and New Year for families all over our area, in such unprecedented times. On behalf of Realise charity, we’re incredibly grateful for all the volunteers, donations and support we’ve received.”
Councillor Helena Maxfield, cabinet member for community safety and well-being at Newcastle Borough Council, said: “We work closely with Staffordshire Police and other partners all year round to make sure that appropriate support is in place for vulnerable residents in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
“Christmas can be an especially difficult time of year for people who are already struggling in some way so we always try to go the extra mile.
“Despite the ongoing pandemic and the challenges it’s brought, I’m delighted that we’ve still been able to facilitate such a lovely initiative through sharing information with our partners. It is the season of giving and the food hampers always put a smile on people’s faces.”