A KINDHEARTED County Durham councillor is putting her culinary and crafting skills to use, in a bid to support her community in the battle against COVID-19.

Councillor Linda Marshall – a Labour Party councillor who represents Chester West, Central and Pelton Fell – is baking twice a week for a COVID-19 Support Food Bank, knitting face mask holders that have been passed to workers at pharmacies and GP surgeries in Pelton Fell, and is preparing 15 meals every week for isolated residents in her community.

Cllr Marshall, who is shielding at home due to an underlying health condition, is keen to spread some kindness to bring a smile to the faces of residents who have been impacted by lockdown measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

She said: “I normally play a really active role in my community, but being confined to home means I have more time on my hands, which I want to use positively to support people and groups in the area.

“There are so many people who need support right now, and I am keen to do my bit.  I’m helping those I know are isolated, and it means a lot to be able to do that.”

As well as baking cakes for a local Food Bank, Linda – who is a qualified chef and is trained in food hygiene – has knitted 100 mask holders, designed to make wearing PPE more comfortable, and these have been donated to pharmacists and GP surgeries, as well as care homes, where staff will be wearing masks while caring for residents.

She is also giving something back to volunteers who normally give their time to support the running of the Brockwell Centre – the area’s village hall – by cooking traditional home-cooked meals, that her brother is delivering every week.

“Many of the volunteers at the centre are shielding and some live alone, so I wanted to give something back to those who do so much to help others year-round.”

Cllr Marshall has also baked 50 cakes that she sent to the local fire station for frontline workers.  Her daughter, Sally, is also supporting her efforts by delivering the cakes Linda bakes to the Food Bank each week.

“Frontline workers do so much, and I just want them to know how much we all appreciate them.  If it makes them smile, then I am happy.”

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