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Community stars given a special festive thank you

This Christmas, community stars from up and down the North East are being recognised for their selfless acts of kindness.
Embells 12 deeds pic

The annual campaign by northern housing association Karbon Homes, celebrates the stars in its communities by formally recognising both the good neighbours and community heroes who have gone the extra mile to help others and deserve a big thank you.

One of this year’s community heroes is Embells Community Support Project in Gateshead, which received 15 nominations from people in the community for the support it provides with food parcels, clothing packs and community courses to help people gain new skills and make new friends.

On winning the Community Star, Emma Bell, who runs Embells, said: “The group’s been going for just over a year and was set up after I realised that support services in Gateshead were really limited. It’s been something that’s been very needed in Gateshead and community involvement is very much at the forefront of what we do.

“With the cost of living rising, more and more people are struggling. We’ve seen an increase in people coming to use our services so we’re trying to make sure they’re fully accessible to ensure we can support everyone. It was lovely to hear we’d be chosen as one of Karbon’s 12 community stars this year. It’s nice to be thought of and that people have voted for us.”

Through November, Karbon asked people in its communities to nominate individuals or organisations they think deserve a community star. The winners are then selected by a panel of judges and presented with a thank you to the value of £100 in December.

Other Community Star winners included:

·         Rose Peat who, after suffering the tragic loss of her daughter to cancer, has started volunteering for cancer patient care charity Daft as a Brush and supports cancer patients with transport to their appointments

·         Letty Davison who runs the Eggcrackers group in Chester-le-Street, County Durham. After an incident where her friend was physically attacked for trying to use a public restroom, Letty decided she wanted to create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and anyone with Neurodivergence or additionally abled

·         Katherine Millar, one of the founding members of Tanga Club, a charity in Hexham that supports children with additional needs and their families with a weekly youth club, parent/carer retreat days and an annual trip to Centre Parcs

Philip Pollard, Assistant Director of Customer & Community Engagement at Karbon Homes, said: “We’ve been running the 12 deeds of Christmas for several years now and it’s always heartwarming to see the wonderful, selfless acts of kindness that people and groups in our communities do for one another.

“We work with our customers to shape strong, sustainable places for our communities. The 12 deeds initiative is a fantastic way to celebrate community spirit and for people to thank those who have helped to make a positive difference.”

To find out more about Karbon Homes 12 deeds of Christmas, visit


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