This video shows how a charity building is being transformed to help families in need.
The Cedarwood Trust, on the Meadow Well estate in North Shields, wants to start a new food membership scheme to help people living on the breadline feed their families.
As part of the initiative, people will be able to pay £4 a week but take up to £15 worth of fresh food a week in return.
The plan was put in place after statistics showed food poverty was on the rise and more than 65,000 people in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area moved onto Universal Credit in the past year after losing their jobs or their self-employed income.
Work is now taking place to redevelop the Cedarwood Trust building and is set to be complete by the end of July or early August.
The new-look building will include a Nourish shop, reception, toilets and a Nurture Academy, to provide training for people and help them gain qualifications.
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TV interior designer George Bond, who became famous on 90s show Better Homes with Carol Vorderman and recently appeared as a design consultant on the BBC’s ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’, is heading up the redevelopment project.
Wayne Dobson, the charity's CEO, said: "This is designed to help provide food security to people who often live hand to mouth – if an unexpected bill comes in it can be a choice between paying the bill or feeding your family.
"The scheme will help prevent people reaching crisis level and needing to visit food banks. While we have been giving meals away in the pandemic, people still want to give something in return.
"This is about people feeling like they are keeping their dignity, and putting something in to take something out."
He added: "Unfortunately as time has moved on, community centres like Cedarwood have tended to fade away, but we want this to be a really useful hub at the heart of this community.
"We want to create an oasis that lights people’s imaginations and aspirations, because the outside world can be very bleak and very dark.
"We will have a fantastic public lounge, a café where you can get great coffee and really good food, access the Food Membership Scheme and the wellbeing groups we will have running here.
"George has come up with an amazing design that the whole community can use."
Mr Bond said: "You have to understand what the people who are going to use this centre are going to want from it before you plan it out.
"The Trust has been magnificent in helping us to make sure we give them the space that they want. It is very exciting and I think when everyone sees the finished product they are going to be very happy."
The idea for the food membership scheme came after the charity gave out more than 40,000 free, fresh healthy meals to residents during the pandemic.
Ingredients for the meals came from more than 15 tonnes worth of donations from organisations including FareShare North East, Tin on the Wall, local supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco, and from community collections.
Stock for the new Nourish shop will also come from donations.
For more information on the Cedarwood Trust, click here, call 0330 094 8454 or email [email protected]