Monthly Archives: May 2020

Working with Steel River Drinks to deliver Gin hand sanitiser in new Act for Carers Campaign

Jessie Joe Jacobs works with Steel River Drinks to deliver care packages and much needed hand sanitiser to care workers as part of a new Act for Key workers Campaign

Over the past few weeks Jessie Joe Jacobs has been working with the local community across Teesside after setting up Teesside Community Action Group which is a support network focussed on the response to coronavirus.

Teesside Community Action, a coronavirus support network established by Jessie Jacobs has launched a new campaign to help support key workers.

The group has already helped neighbours to care for each other during the crisis, supplied isolated residents with a food delivery service, and launched fundraising campaigns to feed key workers.

Now the group has now launched the Act for Key Workers campaign to show how they can help key workers on Teesside with practical things they can do to help.

As part of this she has worked with Jay Byers from Steel River drinks to get hand sanitiser into care homes. The firm is a distillery with popular products such as Stainsby Girl Gin. With the onset of coronavirus they have moved into production of hand sanitiser

The pair have visited four care homes including Elton Hall Care home and Teesdale lodge in Thornaby delivering the hand sanitiser alongside biscuits donated by TK Maxx for the 20 workers at the home and residents.

Jessie Joe Jacobs said, “This crisis has shown the true spirit of Teesside, which is of one of care and compassion. When this crisis hit people so many people wanted to know what they could do to help. For many people it’s a simple as staying at home but for those able to do more Teesside Community Action Group has been a brilliant way to support people to act.

“I know that the Thursday night clap for key workers has inspired a lot of people and shown our support for those who are working hard to protect us. People have been asking me what they can do to help in a more practical way and now local residents have come together to say they want to go further.

“This hand sanitiser is much needed in our care homes right now so it’s good to see a local business stepping up like this.”

Jay Byers of Steel River Drinks said, “Not all heroes wear capes and lycra. I have been amazed and humbled by the work our NHS workers have done throughout this terrible pandemic.

“The sheer number of key workers out there doing amazing, worthy, underpaid and at times, brave work, has compelled me to get behind this Act for Key Workers initiative. So, Steel River Drinks will happily and proudly help these heroes in our own little way; Gin, tonics and hand sanitiser!”

A conversation with Shadow Environmental Secretary and Great British Menu Chef

Darlington’s Great British Menu finalist spells out future for North East’s food and drinks sector post Covid

Darlington’s Ruth Hansom, BBC Great British Menu Finalist, joined Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Minister in an online discussion with Jessie Joe Jacobs, Labour’s Tees Valley Mayoral candidate to look at the impact of the Covid Crisis on the food and drink sector.

In the online discussion hosted by Jessie Joe Jacobs with the young TV star, Ruth shares about her own journey of moving to London at 15 years old because saying there were many more opportunities in London and says what’s happening to the sector is heart-breaking, but there is also hope.

Ruth says “You see people who have worked taking something from nothing to get a restaurant up and running and it’s their life, their soul and they’re there sometimes 16 hours a day and they get something out of their jobs which is making people happy and you take that away and people feel they have lost their purpose, they don’t know what to do.

But Ruth goes on to say on the flip side, “People will come back after this crisis with a better work life balance. It has highlighted that employees in the sector need more time off and there needs to be a sustainability in their own lives in the future.”

Luke Pollard agreed saying “Food and drink manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in the whole country, it’s not airplane wings, it’s not cars. It’s food and drink.

“We need to value more those who work in this sector much more but we also need an urgency in supporting local businesses, providing the opportunities to grow, by encouraging people to buy local, supporting them with a platform to enable buying local, but also provide grants and funding.”

Jessie Joe Jacobs said, “Food and drink has often been described as the Cinderella of the North East economy. It employs extremely large numbers of people, enriches our lives in significant ways and adds to the cultural landscape in ways few other sectors do and yet is often overlooked and overshadowed.

“This needs to change. Coming back bigger and better after Covid means having a much stronger focus on food and drink and also on how we support local producers, manufacturers and businesses in more strategic ways. We also need to ensure we value those that work within the sector much more.”

Link to the Facebook Live: