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A Time for Giving

cut out of santa in his sleigh with reindeer outside a foodbank

Christmas is a time of giving, but rather than give to each other, everyone at MOTW has decided to give something back to their local community.

Our day jobs have us supporting people from our community on a regular basis, and as a result of the people we meet, the journeys they go on and the struggles they face we’re privileged to work alongside some amazing charities and organisations.  This year, more than ever, we wanted to do something to say THANK YOU to some of those charities and help them out when they need us.

As a team, MOTW are quite dispersed.  We’re spread over the whole of Tyne & Wear and have different offices, different contacts and as a result we work alongside and have relationships with different charities.  So, this year we decided to go off into our teams and help those near us, or those that mean a lot to us….

South Tyneside

There doesn’t seem to be a month that goes by without Gail and her team supporting a charity by collecting donations, getting involved in community activities or dressing up in colourful clothing to raise awareness! Christmas has always been a time the South Tyneside team have sacrificed their own gifts for the sake of others and for years now rather than do any office Secret Santa they’ve pooled all the money and spent it on food for their local foodbank.  This year is no exception and they’re collecting food for Hospitality and Hope.  Not only that, they’re also a designated drop off point for Hebburn Helps – a fantastic local non-profit organisation that supports families in the South Tyneside area.  They’ve donated and received a colossal amount of items from clothing to toys to food – all of which will go towards making the festive season special for families local to them who would have otherwise had a very bleak Christmas to look forward to.

two colleagues standing next to a trolley full of food

North Tyneside

Joanne and her team have put in so much effort this year to help support Bay Foodbank.  This non-profit organisation have been a constant pillar of support in North Tyneside and they’ve helped MOTW participants not only put food on their table but also supplied them with volunteering opportunities, advice and guidance.  The North Tyneside team co-ordinated three food donation points in prominent businesses, shared the locations via social media and spread the word in their local community.  Sambuca Percy Main, Spinning Tops Nursery and Heron Foods all proudly displayed these food bins and the results speak for themselves.  (PICS) This food will go towards supporting people, families, and couples within the North Tyneside area not only on Christmas day but throughout the whole festive period.

trolley full of bags of food   food donations from a food collection point   donations under the christmas tree


Working closely with one of our partners Changing Lives; Jane, Jo and the team have been supporting the annual Reverse Advent Calendar and helping with the coordination and collection of multiple donations throughout December. Every year Changing Lives organise a huge Christmas campaign, and this year is no exception – it’s not too late if you want to get involved.  Find out more over on their website – https://www.changing-lives.org.uk/how-you-can-help/christmas2020/ The MOTW Gateshead team personalise and hand deliver boxes to their participants throughout the festive period.


Not one to be beaten, our Sunderland team are known for their impressive success stories and smashing all given targets they’re set!  But they’re not only amazing in terms of the support they offer their participants but also in the selfless donations they give to their local community.  Jason and his team chose Sunderland Foodbank after witnessing first-hand the value of the service with a number of their participants relying on them to survive.  The team focused on providing their own donations and were able to supply tinned food, packaged biscuits and dry goods – all of which were gratefully received.

car boot full of food donations


The team are always very hands on with their charity and community work, with several members volunteering in their spare time and one even setting up a Community Interest Company called Suitability which supplies men in the region with interview clothes.  For Christmas, Derek and the team collectively decided they wanted to support East End Women.  This non-profit community programme helps women in the North East achieve their potential through a range of activities and relies heavily on donations.  The team dug deep and, supported by family and friends raised over £200 allowing them to purchase a brilliant range of products that will go towards helping local women accessing the service during these ongoing and difficult times.

sofa full of toiletries donations

The Programme Management Team

As a group of women, Nicola and the team wanted to donate to a charity they could all personally relate to – but they couldn’t choose just one!  The thought process was simple; everyone should be able to feel clean and remain dignified and whilst products aren’t cheap, they are a necessity and often overlooked when people think to donate items to those in need.  After a couple of conversations the team chose Bloody Good Period and The Hygiene Bank, Newcastle and were delighted that as a group they were able to donate an impressive: 18 shower gels, 18 deodorants and 12 shampoos to The Hygiene Bank and 696 sanitary products to Bloody Good Period. All of which have been very gratefully received and will hopefully make Christmas a more enjoyable time for the women who need them.

At MOTW we’re all passionate about our local community and the people within it.  Everyone on the programme is exceptionally proud of the donations they’ve been able to coordinate and provide to these charities and organisations – it’s our way of saying ‘Thank You’ and hopefully raising awareness of the fantastic work they do on a daily basis.


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