Street Zero supporters donate £57,000 to help the city's most vulnerable

Street Zero’s Emergency Fund, donated by the North East public and regional businesses, awarded £57,000 to Changing Lives, Tyne Housing, and Home Group for eight different projects that helped the most vulnerable people in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fenwick bolstered the Emergency Fund to provide the large scale grants that helped partners on the frontline making sure those in their care are physically safe and mentally supported with dedicated wellbeing services and activities to help people adapt to life in lockdown.

With the grants, Home Group, who manage homelessness services across Newcastle, created separate isolated accommodation units to effectively care for those who have either been diagnosed or have symptoms of COVID-19 and need to self-isolate. One of the most significant challenges faced in supporting people and keeping them occupied whilst adhering to social distancing. Home Group provided laptops and invest in art, cooking, music, learning, and mindfulness activities that will help keep people in accommodation both physically and mentally stimulated, as well as helping manage stress and anxiety.

Tyne Housing supported its Byker Bridge House residents minimise social contact and stay well-nourished by providing 400 hot meals a week through the ‘Plates for People’ partnership with The People’s Kitchen and Ouseburn Farm. As food banks struggled, residents had limited options to eat or access their usual support networks. Funding directly helped to provide regular healthy meals, as well as supporting Tyne in providing individual counselling sessions for residents.

Changing Lives provides a variety of supported accommodation services across the city and invested the grants in supporting those who were living in shared accommodation and individual flats, as well as women in recovery who have children. The funding delivered personalised self-isolation packs to help every individual on their journey to independence. They could have included a microwave, a kettle, television or tablet, mobile phone top-up, or cleaning products. Everything was chosen to help people to access services online, remotely engage with the wider world, reduce feelings of loneliness, and create a more homely environment.