Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington met with Tracy Freeman, CEO of First Stop Darlington during 2020 and was inspired by the work First Stop has undertaken throughout the pandemic.
Peter recognised the tremendous work Tracy and her team are doing across Darlington and approached Amazon and The Harrison Foundation to establish if there were ways in which they could support or work with First Stop Darlington. Amazon have now kindly donated £5,000 and The Harrison Foundation, £3,000.
First Stop plan to use this funding to support a community partnership initiative to bring Digital Inclusion to those whose lives are being detrimentally impacted during the pandemic and that connection to the Internet will improve their financial position and potential work opportunities, alongside using anything left over to fund travel to new jobs for anyone that does not qualify through the DWP.
Tracy Freeman, CEO of First Stop Darlington and Director of Bike Stop Darlington said: “It is great to be supported by local businesses and foundations, they understand the local needs and want to be part of the solution. We thank Peter for putting himself forward and searching for funding to assist our work, we appreciate his support at this very difficult time in the funding world.”
Harrison Foundation Trustee, Daniel Harrison, said: “The Harrison Foundation has always looked to support community charities that are making a much-needed practical difference on the ground. Their work has never been a more vital lifeline than over the last 12 months. That’s exactly the type of support that Tracey and the team at First Stop provides in Darlington and I’m really pleased that we can help.
“My thanks to Peter Gibson MP for bringing First Stop to our attention so that we can make this donation.”
Prashant Pandey, General Manager of the Darlington Amazon Fulfilment Centre said: “As a major employer in Darlington, Amazon welcomes the opportunity to support local charities and the excellent work they do in the community.
“Since opening our Darlington Fulfilment Centre in 2019, we have created over a 1,000 jobs and have taken on more people during the pandemic. We recognise that many people in the local community have uncertain futures as a result of the pandemic. We are delighted to support First Stop and the community partnership to provide people with the ability to get back to work through access to the internet.”
Peter Gibson, Member of Parliament for Darlington, said: “I pledged to put the community of Darlington at the foremost of my priorities and will continue to do so. The work that Tracy and her team at First Stop are doing is fantastic and I will continue to lend my support to the charity where possible.”