Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has praised Ashington charity Real Deal Plus for its efforts to help people in the town.
The organisation – founded in December 2011 to support vulnerable people by offering care and refuge, a listening ear, companionship and practical help – moved into Ashington’s old police station and courthouse in November 2014, and Mrs Baird was shown around its Station Road base to find out more about its community support programme.
The building, now called Ashington Life Centre, acts as a community hub home to a teen bar, community cafe and emergency food bank.
Former Redcar MP Mrs Baird said: “I was delighted to see at first hand the great work undertaken by the team.
“They are making a real difference to the community. Real Deal Plus has many supporters, including Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery.
“I look forward to following the work of the team over the months and years ahead.
“They are making a real difference to the local community.”
Ashington Town Council leader Stephen Fenwick said: ”I was pleased to get the opportunity to personally visit the building and, on behalf of the town council, was very encouraged to see the positive progress being made by Real Deal Plus on a number of valued projects aimed at a wide range of age groups and needs”.
Charity official Kath Falcus said: “We were extremely honoured to receive this visit and thrilled to be able to showcase the vital work we are doing to support the most vulnerable members of the local community.
“In the current economic climate, with the introduction of universal credit, this type of support is proving to be a lifeline for many families in Ashington and the surrounding area.
“The commissioner’s support, and that of the town council, is very encouraging, and we look forward to building on this relationship in the coming months.”