Meet the army of volunteers who are bringing ‘cheer and virtual hugs’ to Northumberland's remote communities

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An army of volunteers is working to bring food, medicine and “virtual” hugs to isolated and elderly residents who are living in rural areas of Northumberland.

Volunteers from the Warm Hubs programme have mobilised to bring food, medicine and “virtual” hugs to isolated and elderly residents who are living in rural areas of Northumberland.

The Warm Hubs scheme is delivered by Community Action Northumberland and receives funding from Northern Gas Networks (NGN).

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The funding is allowing volunteers to set up food banks, buy board games and purchase food containers so that cooked meals can be left on doorsteps for residents.

Warm Hubs is working to deliver aid and support to rural communities across Northumberland.Warm Hubs is working to deliver aid and support to rural communities across Northumberland.
Warm Hubs is working to deliver aid and support to rural communities across Northumberland. | Johnston Press

The effort comes after 20 Warm Hub meeting places across the region had to temporarily close due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Christine Nicholls from Community Action Northumberland said: “Our Warm Hubs are based in community centres, church halls and other local meeting places, all of which have had to close due to the pandemic.

“However, our amazing volunteers have continued to provide food, company and support for service users, albeit at a distance.

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“The extra funding from Northern Gas Networks has allowed volunteers across Northumberland to swing into action with a range of new services.”

A Warm Hubs lunch in Seahouses which have had to temporarily stop due to the coronavirus outbreak.A Warm Hubs lunch in Seahouses which have had to temporarily stop due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A Warm Hubs lunch in Seahouses which have had to temporarily stop due to the coronavirus outbreak. | Other 3rd Party

Head of Social Strategy for NGN, Tom Bell added: “Warm Hubs is a wonderful initiative to combat social isolation and loneliness in remote, rural areas, by bringing people together.

“It’s a privilege to support such a great initiative, especially during such a challenging time for many of our customers.”

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