Durham Christian Partnership (DCP), the County Durham based charity that provides foodbank and signposting services to members of the local community, has received £10,000 in funding thanks to Coalfields Community Investment Programme.

The £10,000 in funding has contributed towards the expansion of the charity’s foodbank services in Sunderland, allowing it to establish a central foodstore and to introduce a common referral process and a data recording system, whilst also encouraging other third-party advice and support services to feature at foodbank distribution points.

Improving the referral routes and providing coordination helps those in need to access the services they require and gives the volunteers in foodbank centres more time to spend on signposting people to the extra support they need.

Durham Christian Partnership works with a variety of partners across the community to ensure that care and support is available for those that are in need. With a number of volunteers throughout the organisation, DCP encourages a range of services in addition to their foodbank centres, these can include homeless support, debt and benefits advice, skills courses and mentoring.

Peter MacLellan, Chief Executive of Durham Christian Partnership, comments: “We’re often approached by people needing help or advice on a range of issues. By working with partners and charities across County Durham and Sunderland we are able to ensure these people receive the practical support and guidance they need.”

“The Coalfields funding has allowed us to reach out and work alongside many more partners in the Sunderland area and provide the support to many more people.”

Andy Lock, Head of Operations (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. comments: “Durham Christian Partnership deliver an invaluable service for the local community. Coalfield areas face ongoing challenges and signposting services, such as the one provided by Durham Christian Partnership, ensures that everyone is able to get the support which they often desperately need.”

As the organisation has become a member of Coalfield Community Investment Programme it will continue to be supported by the Trust and will have access to bespoke practical support including access to resources and services such as help with third-party funding applications and bid-writing, to tips on effective promotion and marketing.