“We have become firm friends and love that we have the same passion to help others in Teesside.”

Tees Valley Together (TVT) is a constituted community group set up in response to the COVID 19 response. It was set up by three ladies who volunteered to help an online forum at the very start of the pandemic and very soon became firm friends.

Lyndsey, one the founders, explains, “We all realised the need within the area was greater than the forum could offer so we made the decision to form the group Tees Valley Together, initially as a mutual aid group but very soon we became a constituted community group with a view to become a charity in the future.”

Lyndsey, a disabled wife and mother who has a background in health, together with Amanda, a former small business owner and foster parent, and Sharlein, who has a background in finance and business and has a wealth of knowledge, have always had a passion to help their community.

“We believe fate brought us together to start our journey,” Lyndsey adds. “We have our own set of skills and experiences that we have been able to bring to the table. We have become firm friends and love that we have the same passion to help others in Teesside. 

In the four months since setting up TVT, Lyndsey, Amanda and Sharlein have not only helped many individuals, they’ve also organised help and resources for other organisations. They aim to be the umbrella organisation that helps bring together and signpost all charitable services within the Tees Valley, ensuring the individuals that need it can access help from the correct service in a timely manner.

Lyndsey far left, Amanda far right give an award and another donation to the Palliative Care Team at James Cook Hospital.

During lockdown, the team has: 

  • given food and toiletry provisions to many care homes, including packs for the residents and the staff. 
  • helped the end of life team’s dragonfly scheme, donating over 100 forget me not seed packets.
  • had amazing volunteers working tirelessly making reusable face masks and donating them free to anyone who needed them. 
  • created and issued face mask exemption cards for those who needed them including 100 for the Deaf Society.
  • taken on a food bank project working with Pip to deliver the food parcels to people’s homes.
  • along with Mobica and InfinityPay, established an online platform that allows local businesses to get online, ensuring that even throughout lockdown and beyond, their business can still thrive through online shopping and delivery via the website.

“We are a fully inclusive organisation,” Lyndsey says, “and we pride ourselves on delivering a fair and free service to all and signposting to other services to help the individuals be able to get themselves out of poverty, whether that is to mental health organisations, citizens advice or debt charities. We ensure that we are not only helping people short term but follow up to ensure that they will receive the correct help in the future.”

The Tees Valley Together group has gone from strength to strength in such a short time, with their short term goals to ensure nobody is alone or goes without during the pandemic and long term to ensure that all services work together to provide fast and efficient services appropriately and quickly.

Lyndsey adds, “We are a not for profit and every penny goes back into the local community and economy. The three of us who are trustees are driven, passionate about driving change across the Tees Valley and making it a better place to live for everyone. It’s been a whirlwind, learning fast and working hard but we love what we do and have our hearts and heads set towards big things for the area, an area that has proved itself throughout the pandemic to be generous, caring, and close. We are proud of the Tees Valley, and its people, who share their time, money and resources when needed to help others. Teesside, you are amazing! We will keep up the hard work to ensure we remain that way!”

Find out more at https://www.teesvalleytogether.co.uk/