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Selfless officer praises community for generous response to her refugee collection
11 May | 12:14

A selfless officer has been giving up her spare time to help provide struggling refugee families with educational material for children, toys, games and other supplies.


Since lockdown began, PC Tracy Cook from our Neighbourhood Policing Team has been spending her evenings and weekends encouraging friends, family and the Gosforth and Great Park community to donate any items which might come in useful for needy families who are unable to access their usual support networks.


She originally asked for educational aids – but the list of items being handed over kept on growing. Two Wii games consoles, countless jigsaws, books, puzzles and a treasure trove of other items have all been donated from generous residents keen to help during these unprecedented times.


PC Cook has praised the overwhelming amount of support she’s received from the community in Gosforth and Great Park, saying she’s been blown away by the generosity.


She said: “What started out as a simple idea to pass on some supplies has turned into something much bigger and I can’t thank people enough for their support.


“People have organised donations and literally turned up with cars packed full of books, games and other items which needy families are really struggling to get their hands on at this time. We’ve been able to give children colouring in books and other items to help keep them entertained during lockdown.


“I just want to thank everyone for all they’ve done so far. It’s amazing to see people come together like this.”


Items have been delivered to addresses in the West End, Byker, Heaton, Lemington and Shieldfield to families from Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait, Albania and Ethiopia in a coordinated effort with the help and support of Jenny Hartley, the local authority asylum seeker liaison officer from the Housing Advice Centre in Newcastle and PC Hannah Craig from the Walker Neighbourhood Policing Team.

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