A TYNEDALE residential care service is celebrating after reaching a significant milestone in its bid to keep its residents and staff Covid-secure.

The appeal, launched in June, to raise funds for the Pandemic Isolation Unit at Charlotte Straker Care Home in Corbridge has reached its first £70,000 target.

The money will fund help retrospectively fund the four-room unit from March until the end of September and has recently been reached thanks to a host of personal donations, exercise challenges, grants and wide community support.

Pam Crawley, Charlotte Straker’s new registered manager, remarked on progress: “I joined the team in August and am delighted with the support for stage one of the appeal which has been tremendous.

"The isolation unit has proved its worth time and time again, helping keep the home Covid-free and our residents and staff safe.”

As the pandemic progressed the effectiveness of the unit enabled its size to be reduced to two rooms from November, enabling the other two rooms to be used to admit long-term residents whose needs were extremely pressing.

Recently, a virtual quiz in collaboration with Corbridge Youth Initiative and proceeds from the sale of David Waugh’s Corbridge Postcard book at the Forum Bookshop have enabled the start of stage two of the appeal in which £29,500 is needed to fund the unit from October until the end of March 2021.

Berenice Groves, chair of trustees, commented: “With outbreaks of Covid-19 throughout Tynedale the need for the Isolation Unit in this second wave is as great as ever.

"We are all very optimistic about vaccination but as yet that is still a distant prospect to protect everyone, until then we need to keep residents as safe as we possibly can.