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15 July 2020

Active Approach to Helping Families This Summer

South Tyneside Council has joined forces with local charity KEY Project to make sure families stay fed and active over the summer holidays.

kEY2Life food bank has secured money from Feeding Britain which will be used to make around 1,000 picnics while the Council has produced a new booklet highlighting family-friendly fun walks around the Borough where families can enjoy their food.

The booklet features seven walks around South Tyneside which take in some of the prettiest or most historical parts of the Borough in areas as such South Shields sea front, Whitburn, Boldon Colliery, Hebburn and Jarrow. It includes maps, helpful information such as whether the walks are suitable for pushchairs/wheelchairs and family fun activities to keep little ones entertained. The walks can be downloaded from or visit for more information.

Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “Recent months have been extremely difficult for everyone but for the sake of our mental health it is important to get outdoors and stay active.

“With the help of KEY2Life food bank we hope families will take part in this initiative, enjoy a picnic and get outdoors to discover new places and re-connect with nature. We know many families will be struggling, not just because of the pandemic, and we hope this scheme will go some way towards helping them to eat healthily while enjoying stimulating activities outdoors.”

The free picnics must be ordered by phone on 07833 613 393 or via the KEY2Life Facebook page at facebook:@key2lifesouthtyneside 24hours beforehand and can be collected from the KEY2Life food Bank at Boldon Lane Library, Boldon Lane, South Shields, NE34 0LZ, or can be delivered if required.

KEY Project’s Business and Community Development Manager, Jo Benham Brown, who oversees the KEY2Life food bank and conceived the idea said, “We’re delighted to work in partnership with South Tyneside Council to realise this fantastic family initiative. Family really is KEY to everything we do; whether that is supporting families struggling to make ends meet through our KEY2Life food bank, or, keeping families together, and living more happily, to prevent youth homelessness, through KEY Project’s Family Intervention and Reconnect service.

“Taking part in the family trails is a fun way for families to spend quality time together this summer, getting active in the outdoors, discovering more of what South Tyneside has to offer and making special memories along the way. We hope any family who feels they would benefit will join in. Providing a free picnic removes any additional burden and makes it possible for many more families to participate. We are hugely grateful to Feeding Britain for continuing their support and providing funding.”

KEY2Life has co-ordinated summer clubs to tackle holiday hunger for the last five years but this year needed to do things differently. Jo approached the Council to see if they could work in partnership to provide an initiative all families could enjoy.

Over the last few months the KEY2Life food bank has seen unprecedented demand for its services with referrals up 300 per cent on the same time last year.

The picnics are available to any families who would like to participate and will run alongside the food bank’s existing family hamper offer, which can be requested via the same channels as above.  For more information about Key Project, visit

Families are encouraged to post a photo of their day out on the family fun trail at #LoveSouthTyneside Facebook page: facebook@LoveSTyneside The best family photo will receive a free family ticket for Jarrow Hall.