Community group dedicated to a teenager’s memory provides food for more than 180 vulnerable households and counting

A foundation group dedicated to the memory of a Redcar teenager has galvanised a community and helped feed more than 180 households so far.

The Chris Cave Foundation campaigns against violent crime in memory of Chris who was just 17 when he was killed in 2003.

However, since the Coronavirus outbreak the group has dedicated itself to making sure the borough’s most vulnerable people have food and support and has won practical support across the community, including the council.

“We had £100 left in the bank and we just thought, ‘let’s get to work,’” said Chris’s mother, Theresa Cave, of Redcar.

“We put a ‘shout out’ for food and donations – including on the council’s special site for volunteers and communities – and before long we had six drivers and 16 volunteers and we have now spent £1,300, which is in large part down to donations. It all shows how wonderful and generous the people of Redcar and Cleveland can be.”

Theresa, who works with her son, Tom, to support the foundation, stressed that safety guidance was followed at all times.

She said: “We’re a real team, the people in the foundation, volunteers, people from the council – so many people.

“The council let us use a community centre but we only have three volunteers packing at a time to observe all the right distancing rules.

“It takes a lot of work. We don’t discriminate – we’ll support anyone who needs it.

“The good news is we’ve noticed groups in the other areas have come to the fore more and more so we won’t be going outside of Redcar now as it’s important not to duplicate other groups’ efforts when there is so much need out there and not enough funding to go round.

“I am just one of the people helping, it’s a real team effort, it’s not about me at all.”

Councillor Steve Kay, cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare, said: “This is wonderful and it’s just one story of how people are coming together so magnificently during this difficult time.

“We’re determined to keep working closely with community groups whenever possible.”

Theresa Cave also thanked her local councillors, Cllr Carrie Cook, Cllr Charlie Brady and Cllr Leah Quartermain for donating through their Ward Allowance fund and also thanked Mayor, Billy Wells, who helped secure space to pack food parcels. She also explained that people from the council’s Health Improvement Team had helped and had had encouraged other people, sometimes in their own families, to get involved.

Theresa Cave is asking businesses to come forward and people to make donations. Get in touch via email on ccs_p7@outlook.com

Find out more about how to get support on the council’s website at www.redcar-cleveland.co.uk. A special Facebook site has also been set up for individuals, volunteers and community groups to share information which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2819334994816740

All volunteers are urged to find out about the risks involved and should go through official channels such as the Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency (RCVDA). Volunteer groups, organisations, individuals and businesses are being asked to register their activity by accessing the link to the online Community Activity form on RCVDA’s Facebook page or website or by following this link:  https://form.jotform.com/200896650507055 or alternatively by contacting RCVDA via email: anne@rcvda.org.uk

Individuals wishing to register as a volunteer are being asked to complete the Volunteer Application Form by accessing the following link on RCVDA’s Facebook page or website or by following this link: https://form.jotform.com/200875398207058  or alternatively by contacting Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council on their telephone support line 01642 771122 or by email to: support@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk