North East actor launches Peterlee charity’s project to support struggling families

A North East actor who has graced the small and big screen has launched a new project which will see hot meals prepared and delivered to individuals and families facing hardship.

Alun Armstrong, who recently starred in the BBC’s New Tricks gave his backing to The People’s Takeaway, a service delivered by East Durham Trust in Peterlee.

The project is described as a natural addition to the foodbank that the charity has operated for over seven years.

Alun, who grew up in Annfield Plain, County Durham, said: “I’m the son of a Durham pitman myself so all the terrible things that have happened to the villages since the collieries were closed, and the deprivation and the hardship of the people living in these areas have suffered, has always been close to my heart.

“So if there’s anything I can do to help these initiates which are helping them, then I will. I think this one is particularly impressive. “There is an element of fun to it and why shouldn’t there be?”

Malcolm Fallow, the Chief Executive of the Trust explained: “With the continued austerity measures and major cuts to benefits, many local people are struggling to make ends meet.

“The current situation and the growing reliance on free school meals is a poignant example of how desperate some people are. We are finding that emergency food is a lifeline for more and more people. ‘’

The People’s Takeaway project has been made possible thanks to the support from Comic Relief and a Crowdfunding Appeal which together brought in over £20,000. The funding has allowed for the installation of kitchen facilities, the recruitment, and training of a team of volunteers and will pay for running costs such as the purchase of food ingredients.