MP praises Great Lumley scheme to help pensioner's beat the freeze

AN MP has praised a village's efforts to help its old folk through winter.

Great Lumley Methodist Church, near Chester-le- Street, has a volunteer-run scheme called Keep Well and Warm.

It gives out special winter packs for the old and the vulnerable. The packs include a fleece blanket, flask, hot water bottle and hot drink pack, which consists of a cup of soup, teabags, sugar and a selection of speciality teas.

The church also runs Heaven's Kitchen, which provides hot meals, and a drop-in for the eldferly disabled. Keep Well and Warm received £2,280 from this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, run by County Durham Community Foundation.

The campaign is a national fund-raising effort run by community foundations throughout the UK.

North Durham MP Kevan Jones said: “It is reassuring to see that the Surviving Winter campaign operates on a local and national level to support elderly and vulnerable people over the winter months.

"It is a simple yet effective idea, as people are choosing whether to heat or eat. "There are some generous people in the North-East who not only donate to the campaign but give up their time to volunteer like the people here today.”

Joanne Fearn, a volunteer children and youth organiser at the church, said: “We aim to reach out to local people who really need our help. With the weather getting colder and energy prices rising, they are more at risk than ever.

"The small relief pack really lifts people’s spirits. Often many older people struggle to make hot drinks when carers are not available."

The church has already given out 20 bags to people and will hand out a further 80 in the coming weeks.

To find out more about the Surviving Winter Campaign visit www.cdcf.org.uk and click on Surviving Winter or follow @SurviveWinterNE on twitter

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