A NORTH east charity is continuing to support the community throughout the festive period.

Vinnies at the St Vincent centre, Newcastle is working throughout Christmas to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

Last year due to the pandemic, the community centre was closed and charity distributed around 200 Christmas hampers.

Centre manager, Rebecca Stevenson-Read, said: "For the people we support, not a lot changes in the space of a few months, things can get worse but the rarely ever get better.

"We know that if someone is coming to us in October, we know they will need help during Christmas."

This year, the charity will again be distributing hampers to people in the community.

The hampers include everything from, selection boxes, toys, deodorants, games, books and much more.

People can still donate items for the hampers and a full list of items which can be included are on the charities facebook page and website.

This year it is estimated that the centre will be providing for 175 households, which will include families.

Rebecca said: "We have just been inundated, today we took delivery of 400 advent calenders which the royal grammar school in Newcastle have just gifted us, which is lovely.

"From today we can start giving out advent calenders to children who come into the centre so they are ready for December, 1."

Vinnies also runs a refugee project which runs in the centre to support refugees who have been rehomed in the community.

This year the centre wants to include the refugees as part of the centre family.

Rebecca said: "We have been really lucky, we have had a lot of good will, hundreds of selection boxes have been donated.

"We have our Christmas tree arriving next week."

Every year the centre puts up a memory tree which coincides a campaign by the centre which allows people to remember the loved ones that they have lost. Rebecca said: "People can give us the name of a loved one, with a little donation and we will place the decoration with the loved ones name on as part of the decoration this season."