We are delighted to be working in partnership with Tees Community Clothing Banks (part of Tees Community Hub in Saltburn), helping to supply clothing and other items to men and women being released from prison.
Tonia Nixon initially started the hub a few years ago with period packs for women in poverty and the hub has expanded to provide support to anyone in poverty thanks to their dedicated team of volunteers. This includes anyone who is vulnerable or experiencing financial, emotional or crisis issues.
"17 years ago I was a single mum with a 17 year old son who found himself in trouble and ended up in prison. I was overwhelmed by the whole experience and didn’t know what to do at the court when my son was being sentenced. Someone from Nepacs who works in the court approached me and explained everything I needed to know, what to do and where to go next. This help made me feel like I was not alone and I was very grateful for all the help I received. The partnership between Teesside Community Hub and Nepacs is important to me as I would like to give something back to Nepacs for all the support they provided to me. We also want local people to be aware that we are up and running in Saltburn and ready to help people who are homeless and in poverty without feeling ashamed to ask for help."
Sandi Long, Nepacs Through the Gate family support assistant, said: "Tonia is a real inspiration, the way she has built up the community hubs and is so dedicated to helping the homeless and people in need. The donations to our departure lounge, of 6 brand new Discovery Adventure Backpacks, 20 Discovery Adventure Wind Jackets, 46 pairs of Solar winds socks and toiletries will make a massive difference to the men being released from the prison with very little."
Tees Community Clothing Banks are part of several projects that come under the banner of Tees Community Hub including Tees Furniture4everyone, Tees Rapid Response, Tees Christmas Cheer Campaign, Tees Community Space.
The community hub can also provide support care packages for people referred into their services.
Sandi added: "Our partnership with the community hub means that if we refer someone being released from prison to the centre, they can go down and collect household items they may need. We will also be able to provide clothing on their day of release."
Nepacs departure lounges provide support to men and women being release from HMP Durham, Low Newton, Northumberland and Holme House, and provide a safe, warm place for their loved ones to meet them on the day of release.