On a January morning, 82-year-old Irene (name changed to protect her identity) slowly made her way towards the  Helping Hands office.
Impeccably dressed in head-to-toe blue, she looked ready for a party or special event. But on this particular day, circumstances she hadn’t chosen brought her there for an unexpected need to request help .
Once inside, Irene hesitantly stepped up to the reception desk. Like most elderly people, she had always worked hard to care for herself and was ashamed to be reaching out for help.
She leaned forward and quietly said, “I’m 82 years old and I’m so embarrassed to be here.” Gently, Linzi reminded her that we are all in this together, there is no shame in getting help, and that she was  happy to be there for her. That compassion instantly comforted Irene, melting away her uneasiness and misconceptions about receiving assistance.   Linzi said to her, ‘Poverty does not discriminate. It does not target a specific gender, race, financial class, or age.
In Newton Aycliffe where most people don’t think twice about making a trip to the local food shop, there are thousands of people who face hunger every day—including senior citizens”.
Stories like Irene’s are all too common, there are people who are struggling financially and going hungry. The idea of senior citizens being hungry may come as a surprise to people, but it’s very much a reality.
People who’ve spent their lives working are now living through their golden years finding it difficult to get by. Limited income and savings combined with rising living costs make budgeting difficult.
Bringing food and goods directly to the people who need them the most is the aim, but getting it there is no easy task. Ordering is done generally before 7am, then wagons are used to deliver the supplies. Preparations for distribution begin a week in advance. Once the goods are brought in on pallets, it takes approximately ten volunteers to load and unload, restock the shelves and make up the household packs.
Thankfully, Helping Hands have been able to help over 3,000 people during 2014 but we now need more supporters to meet the demand.
Please will you consider doing a sponsored event for us or maybe you’d like to volunteer making up packs? Please be creative in your thinking and we’re sure it will all fit in the bigger scheme of things.
Please let us know what you’d like to do to help – I’m waiting for your call 07936 431262.
Thank you,