New partnership launched to put produce on the menu

Ian McMinn, non-executive director at Northumbria Healthcare, with Stephen King, Barry Collinson and Lesley Rourke from The Pottergate Centre and representatives of HVS. Picture by Crest Photography.
Ian McMinn, non-executive director at Northumbria Healthcare, with Stephen King, Barry Collinson and Lesley Rourke from The Pottergate Centre and representatives of HVS. Picture by Crest Photography.
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A partnership between two hospitals in Northumberland and a centre for adults with learning disabilities has been officially launched.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Hospital Volunteer Service (HVS) has teamed up with The Pottergate Centre in Alnwick.

Products made at the centre’s Pottergate Pantry will be sold in the Trusts’ volunteer-run shops at the Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington and Wansbeck General Hospital.

The shops provide a much-valued service to patients, visitors and staff with money raised going towards improving the hospital environment and health services for the community and providing the little extras which make a real difference to patients’ experiences.

The Pottergate Centre is one of eight day centres for adults with learning disabilities run by Northumberland County Council, providing social care to 51 adults with learning, physical or health-related disabilities.

The Pottergate Pantry is one of two trading activities run by staff and service users at the Alnwick centre, with all profits reinvested into services.

Providing around 50 meals per day for everyone at the centre, the Pantry delivers a successful catering trading activity from the site, selling frozen meals to the public as well as supplying a number of outlets across Northumberland.

Pottergate manager Stephanie Stafford said: “We are delighted to be involved with Northumbria Healthcare HVS and to know that our high quality locally-made produce is being recognised and sold in the Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington and Wansbeck General Hospital shops for patients, staff and visitors.

“The Pottergate Pantry offers a great way for service users to learn new skills, meet new people and develop their confidence and self-esteem.

“All service users receive catering training and are involved in all aspects of production, delivery and promotions.

“It is credit to their skills and enthusiasm that our range of quality products can be found on sale throughout Northumberland at a number of retail outlets.”

Northumbira Healthcare has more than 900 volunteers across its sites as part of HVS and they carry out a range of roles.