CDW Community Aid
1579. Zara St Clair
Zara St Clair, from Newcastle, has led the coordination of her community’s response to the pandemic, establishing a new food bank and distributing over 10,000 leaflets to local residents signposting them to support.
Zara’s voluntary work initially started out when she sought to provide help for another local resident in her Chapel Denton and Westerhope (CDW) community at the start of the outbreak and she quickly realised the scale of support needed for other vulnerable households. Zara established ‘CDW Community Aid’ with a team of over 70 volunteers to support local residents with aid and help them with prescription pick-ups and delivery, basic food supply shops, as well as offering a befriending service to those residents who live alone and have no support network. From this, she further set up the ‘CDW Food Bank’, which runs 7 days a week for people in the local area. Zara has recently partnered with ‘Food Nation’ to create a 5-week programme for households in need, supplying meal-kits which include recipe cards and online links to enable people to cook nutritionally-balanced meals on a budget. She has also recently completed a toy drive to ensure vulnerable local children receive gifts at Christmas.
In a personal letter to Zara, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I want to thank you for the kindness and solidarity you have shown in response to this pandemic. It is because of people like you, giving up time to set up new food banks and means of support for vulnerable people, that I know we will be able to beat this virus together.”
“I am truly humbled to receive this award, but it is an honour to be able to help my community. To have this recognition really does surge my spirit to continue to do what I do bigger and better. It really has shown that community spirit is alive and with the help of all the volunteers and their precious time, we have become a household name for the community. So, I would like to thank you, Prime Minister, for this award.”