Middlesbrough group sends food parcels to people in need from BAME communities during lockdown

Video report by Kris Jepson

A group in Middlesbrough has been helping people who could otherwise have been going hungry during lockdown.

The Ubuntu Multicultural Centre had been on the verge of launching in Middlesbrough just before the country was closed down. It would have offered advice, support and social opportunities for people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the town.

So instead, the people behind the project have spent the last couple of months delivering food parcels to those who would have otherwise benefitted from going to the centre.

John and Irene Kabuye are Ugandan and have lived in Middlesbrough for nearly ten years.

They have been sending out 75 parcels a week and serving around 20 homes. Much of the produce is donated, but fresh fruit and vegetables are grown in John’s allotment.

He has made it accessible to the community too and says it’s all part of empowering them and promoting social cohesion.

John said: "The food parcel is the best way to show them that there is help there.

One of those to have benefitted is Baganja Jovan, an overseas student from Uganda whose family couldn’t send money over to him due to the lockdown.

Baganja said: "It reaches a point where you are unsure of everything and the money in your pocket is reducing.

John hopes to build on the lockdown support work he’s already done and launch the Ubuntu multicultural centre once normality is restored.