I'm raising awareness and funds for a local food bank in the run up to Christmas. Please consider making a donation.
I, Daniel Blake is a powerful comment on modern Britain.
The film directed by Ken Loach tells the story of a 59 year old joiner who is forced to go back to work after a heart attack, and a single mother of two young children.
The unlikely pairing fall between the cracks of the welfare state and become reliant on food banks for basic groceries.
Critics, including the UK government, have called out the film's portrayal of the state as extreme. Advocates that help people in crisis, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, say that it's fair.
An issue spotlighted by the film that you can't challenge is our increasing reliance as a country on food banks.
The data tells the story of increasing demand for emergency food supplies.
Between April and September 2016, foodbanks managed by the Trussell Trust, a poverty charity, distributed 519,342 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis across the UK.
The figure for the same period in 2015 was 506,369; in 2014, 492,641; and in 2013, 355,982.
Creating a call to action from I, Daniel Blake
I was left numb by I, Daniel Blake, and unsure how to respond.
It's a local issue. The film was shot on my doorstep in Newcastle but it's an issue that affects local communities everywhere in the UK.
Check the Trussell Trust website, or search Google for local foodbanks in your area.
I found a way to respond locally. I've teamed up with sisters Emma Webster and Sarah Hall to create We, North Tyneside.
The grassroots movement is Emma's brainchild. She's signed up more than 18 schools in North Tyneside to collect contributions from children, carers, parents and teachers in local communities for the Bay Foodbank in Whitley Bay.
Various businesses in the area have also signed up.
We're promoting the We, North Tyneside campaign via a Facebook group, and have arranged a press event with Kema Sikazwe, who plays China in the film, to raise awareness of the issue.
More than 4,500 people facing financial crisis have used the Bay Foodbank's emergency service this year.
Please help me raise fundbank funds
I want to go a step further. Over the next three weeks I'm going to collect donations from people in my network and do a big shop for the Bay Foodbank at a local cash and carry.
I'd really appreciate your support. Christmas is a challenging time of year when foodbanks need extra resources.
£5 would be great. £10 would be fantastic. £20 would be amazing.
I want to keep this as straightforward as possible. Please send donations via PayPal to me at email@example.com, or by post to me at 58 Colombo Square, Worsdell Drive, Ochre Yard, Gateshead NE8 2DF.
I'll publish a list of donations and audit trail, and share photos of the groceries being delivered to the foodbank.
Donations (update 2 February)
So far friends in my network have donated an incredible £1,040. Thanks to the following people for generous contributions.
Anonymous Richard Bagnall Richard Bailey Christian Cerisola Paul Coxon Stephen Davies Vicky Denny Di Gates Sean Gough Andrew Fawcett-Wolf Laura Foster Lynda Fothergill Michelle Goodall Fritha Hookway Mark Hume Simon Judges Kema Sikazwe Catherine Lowe Liz Mahoney Antony Mayfield Rachel Miller Mat Morrison Adam Parker Tracy Playle Mark Richardson Olivia Scorer Darryl Sparey Howard Walker Liz Walkling Danny Whatmough Daryll Wilcox Charlotte Woodward Rosie Wowk