This week two new public collection points will be going live across Tyne and Wear, where people will be able to pick up their Lateral Flow Testing kits.

Both sites are located at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service fire stations in Sunderland (Barmston Mere, Service Headquarters) and Gateshead (Gateshead Community Fire Station).

The collection point at Gateshead Community Fire Station will be going live on Wednesday (April 14, 5pm until 7pm) and Sunderland will be accessible from Thursday (April 15, 9am until 12noon).

The regular days and times will be as follows:

Gateshead Community Fire Station

Monday, Wednesday and Friday / 5pm until 7pm (NE9 5BU)

Service Headquarters (Sunderland)

Monday and Thursday / 9am until 12noon (SR5 3QY)

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is working closely with the Public Health teams at Gateshead Council and Sunderland City Council in delivering the Lateral Flow Testing kits roll out programme. Testing kits are also available for collection from many local pharmacies, various local authority sites and some symptomatic testing sites.

Members of the public can find their nearest collection site at:

John Rossen, Group Manager at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“All throughout the pandemic Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has been working in the local community to ensure residents, of all ages, are protected and safe from harm.

“We are pleased to be helping with the Lateral Flow Testing programme, where people can collect their home testing kits from our fire stations and in doing so playing their part in trying to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.”

When people pick up their home testing kits from either location, they will be asked to honour the following guidelines.

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times (unless somebody is exempt)
  • Hand sanitiser stations are provided for people to sanitise their hands
  • People should respect social distancing guidelines (2-metres apart)
  • People will need to stand behind the marked out lines and will be called by one of our volunteers to pick up their LFT kits
  • People will be entitled to two packs of LFT kits per visit
  • Parking: Sunderland will have parking on site and there is residential parking available near to Gateshead Community Fire Station
  • People may be asked to inform our volunteers of their home postcode

Gerald Tompkins, Service Director for Health and Wellbeing at Gateshead Council, said:

“We know that around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t show symptoms and could be spreading the virus without realising. Regular testing can help prevent this, by identifying those individuals so that they can take the steps needed to break the chains of transmission.

“As restrictions start to ease and we gradually return to a more normal way of life, I’d encourage as many people as possible to collect home testing kits, use them regularly and keep reporting the results.”

Gerry Taylor, Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning at Sunderland City Council, said:

“This is a really welcome move in terms of giving people without symptoms more choice when it comes to accessing home testing kits. We would encourage people to take up the opportunity to access regular testing and to also consider arranging a supported test at one of our own sites first.  Just so they can be sure that they are carrying out the tests correctly once they’re using them at home.”

People can arrange a supported test in the Sunderland area by filling in the following form: