Lifeline Community Action

Lifeline Community Action work across County Durham and are supporting key workers on low wages to stay safe and minimise the spread of the pandemic.

Pauline Chambers, who works and volunteers for the charity, explained:

“We are working with a lot of key workers, who are often on minimum wage, as is their partner, and they are having to wash their clothes, uniform and bedding constantly while worrying they will pass Covid19 on to their families. It’s costing them a lot of money to do this and we are glad we can support them with our cleaning care packs when they are being so brave.

“We have spoken to people who are literally expecting their sheets to fall apart because they only have two sets of bedding and one is always in the wash.”

In two weeks, Lifeline Community Action had given out 146 cleaning care packs and were working with care homes heavily affected by the pandemic.

In addition, they were also supporting vulnerable families to stay safe. Pauline added:

“It’s a very different time for us. Normally people can come and see us and we can sit and have a cup of tea and find out what’s going on. Someone might ask for something simple, but actually there’s a much wider problem. At the moment we are relying on family and health workers to notice when something is not quite right.

“One family worker put us in touch with a family who have eight children and none of them had any proper bedding, so we were able to get that sorted out and make sure they have the cleaning products they need right now. These are the cases that worry me and it’s going to take a long time to get back to normal.”

The charity received £5,000 from County Durham Community Foundation, through the National Emergencies Trust, which is using the UK’s network of community foundations to distribute money raised through a national appeal.

As well as supporting key workers, the Lifeline team were also sending out ‘baby packs’ of nappies, lotion, wipes and shampoo to families who are living in poverty.

Pauline said: “The funding has been very helpful because it means we can dip into our reserves when we spot a greater need, knowing that the packs are covered. We’ve got to be reactive and we’re not going to leave a family in trouble if we can help.”