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14 November 2022

Key to Life Foodbank launches annual Christmas Appeal

It’s that time of year again, one of South Tyneside’s largest and longest running Christmas Appeals is now underway to help make Christmas special for the most vulnerable in our borough.

Key to Life Foodbank, a partnership between youth homeless charity Key and Churches Together South Tyneside, has launched its annual seasonal appeal to spread plenty of festive cheer, alongside vital donations of essentials, as it anticipates a spike in demand due to the current cost of living crisis.

There are plenty of ways the public can get involved to help make Christmas special for struggling families and individuals throughout South Tyneside.

The foodbank is once again appealing for donations of Christmas fare and festive treats, to complement its emergency food parcels and brighten Christmas for those struggling to put food on the table this year. Whatever people can spare will be most appreciated.

Key to Life is also requesting donations of new and unwrapped toys and gifts, and vouchers for older children, to transform Christmas for families who are unable to afford presents this year.

If you are a family with children aged 16 and under who would like to benefit from either, please click here to complete an online application form which must be submitted before 3pm on Thursday 8 December. Gifts will be allocated no earlier than Tuesday 13 December and must be collected from Key to Life.

To allow sufficient time to distribute to those most in need before the big day, Christmas food and toy donations should be dropped off over the next three weeks, from Monday 21 November until Friday 9 December. Any spare gift bags and wrapping paper would also be most appreciated.

Key to Life is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and located inside Boldon Lane Library, postcode NE34 0LZ. Due to extremely high demand at this time of year, it would be most helpful if donations could be received between 12-3pm to avoid peak times.

There are also several ways to donate financially this Christmas

  • Online: keycommunity.org.uk/donate
  • By cheque: Please make payable to ‘Key Community’ and post to: Key, 116 Baring Street, South Shields, NE33 2BA.
  • By bank transfer: Please transfer to ‘Key Community’ at Unity Trust Bank, Sort code: 60-83-01, Account no: 20071815.
  • By text:

Text 5XMAS to 70580 to donate £5

Text 10XMAS to 70580 to donate £10

Text 15XMAS to 70580 to donate £15

Text 20XMAS to 70580 to donate £20
(Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message)

You can make your financial gift worth an extra 25% by Gift Aiding your donation. Simply complete and return a Gift Aid form downloadable from Key’s website here.

Christmas is Key to Life’s busiest time of the year and additional volunteers are always most appreciated. If you find yourself with some free time on your hands and want to give something back by ‘elfing out’ at the foodbank over the festive period they’d love to hear from you: DM the Key to Life Foodbank Facebook page or give them a call on 07833 613 393 during opening hours.

You can also give while you Christmas shop via with smile.amazon.co.uk  and support Key at no extra cost to yourself! Simply select ‘Key’ as your chosen charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to the charity.

Jo Benham Brown, Business Development and Communities Manager at Key, said: “With many households now in desperate hardship, suffering from the biggest cuts in living standards in forty years, amid escalating food and fuel bills, alongside rising taxes and interest rates, we’re anticipating more people than ever to turn to our foodbank this Christmas.”

“Unfortunately even we aren’t immune to this crisis, with rising costs of our own at Key to Life and the worsening situation leading to a drop in donations meaning diminishing stocks at a time of unprecedented demand when many more people are needing to use a foodbank for the very first time.”

“We know times are tough for everyone but please spare a thought, and whatever you can, for someone in need close to home this year.”

For more information about Key to Life’s Christmas Appeal: keycommunity.org.uk/christmasappeal