A foodbank in Bishop Auckland has received more than £80,000 in extra funding to extend its services.

The Crisis Intervention Programme is a scheme in Bishop Auckland and Shildon that provides advice and assistance to people. They have received over £80,000 in funding to expand its foodbank programme.

The organisation was awarded £46,400 from Durham County Council’s Towns and Villages Improving Community Resilience Fund as well as £40,000 from the authority’s Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership.

The funding has been used towards building an extension of Woodhouse Community Centre in Bishop Auckland, where the programme is based, to create a dedicated space for its food bank initiative.

In the last three months, the Crisis Intervention Programme has provided 469 food parcels to people.

The extension has allowed for a separate space where food donations are stored and packed, making room for a small break-out area for one-to-one meetings for those receiving other forms of support.

Cllr Alan Shield, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for equality and inclusion, said: “Our area action partnerships and our community resilience fund are designed to support organisations and voluntary groups which help our residents and communities.

“Demand has risen since the Crisis Intervention Programme first began and the centre has found it difficult to find space to store food donations. The new all-purpose extension creates a functional space for the food bank which will ease pressure in the community centre, allowing more space for the project to provide its other forms of support.”

The allocation from the area action partnership includes funding from county councillors Joanne Howey and Cathy Hunt, who each contributed £5,000 through their neighbourhood budgets.

The Crisis Intervention Programme helps anyone that is in need including those who receive benefits or their pension, and those in work, including those on zero-hour contracts.

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It also provides other forms of support including utilities top-ups and directing people to other organisations that can help with specific needs.

It provides avenues that can help those who are homeless, moving due to domestic violence situations, need support with budgeting or accessing other intensive wrap-around services.

The organisation offers crisis support five days a week, between 9am and 4.30pm from Monday to Thursday and 9am to 12.30pm on Fridays.