As well as our main Church project, we also support several other charities with smaller sums, collected during communion services at the church.
The charities supported in 2009 were as follows:
January/February – People’s Kitchen - The aim of the People’s Kitchen is to provide friendship, food and support to the needy, lonely and homeless in and around Newcastle upon Tyne. This is made possible through an enthusiastic team of volunteers and generous support. Alison Kay, the founder, believed that it is important that all the people in all the world should be aware of what is happening around them. The People’s Kitchen motto is “We are NOT here to see through one another - we are here to see one another through.”
March – Grace House - The Grace House North East Children’s Hospice Appeal is raising funds to build, equip and run an eight bed children’s hospice for children across the North East. Over 1,200 families in our region require hospice care and Grace House will provide a home from home, loving environment where children and their families may turn to for support. At present the government does not provide long term funding for children’s hospices and this means that charities like this rely on the goodwill of dedicated fundraising teams and the generosity of the public.
April – Waddington Street Centre - The Waddington Street Centre offers support and opportunities to people in the North Durham area who experience enduring mental health problems. The Centre provides a wide range of quality services within a welcoming environment. Waddington Street Centre is an independent, voluntary sector organisation where service users, volunteers and staff work closely together to improve the quality of people's lives, support recovery and self-development and make care in the community a reality. Centre's Mission Statement - Effective Mental Health Support through Life Skills and Opportunities.
May –Christian Aid– Christian Aid works through local organisations to deliver direct, practical benefits, and campaign to challenge the causes of poverty. They deliver real benefits to poor communities in about 50 countries and work with the people at the frontline of change with 600 overseas partner organisations. They tackle poverty and its causes. From finding better ways of farming in the Bolivian altiplano, to protecting women raped and forced from their homes in Darfur. Through their partner organisations and regional offices, they reach some of the poorest communities on earth.
June /July – African Children’s Choir - In 1984, in the midst of Uganda’s civil war, human rights activist, Ray Barnett was called on to help the many thousands of orphaned and starving children, abandoned and helpless to feed and protect themselves. “Inspired by the singing of one small boy, the first African Children’s Choir was formed”. Some of the African Children’s Choir’s strongest outreach programs are in Uganda. Over 500 children are provided education daily at five major primary schools located in communities around Kampala. These are some of Uganda’s most desperate communities where the school programs serve as a lifeline to the most needy and vulnerable. As well as Uganda, the Choir also supports children in Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. In these countries they generally support children into school programs, as well as providing food, clothing and medical care.
August – Great North Air Ambulance Service - The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) operates three helicopters based at Teesside, Cumbria and Northumberland. It has been proven time and time again that helicopters are vital for the transportation of time-critical injured or ill patients to specialising hospitals, and it is the aim of GNAAS to provide the people of the north with the best quality care available to them, which is what they deserve. The Great North Air Ambulance Service receives no government or lottery funding, relying solely on the generosity of the public, in addition to it’s own business income generation streams. GNAAS provides a 7 day per week 10-hour per day helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) that provides: Primary medical response; Secondary medical response; Acute hospital transfers; Specialist medical team transfers; Support medical services for police firearms teams and mountain search and rescue teams. It costs approximately £1.2m per annum to operate ONE helicopter.
September– Centrepoint - Centrepoint works and campaigns to give homeless young people a future by supporting them directly, and by influencing practice, policy and provision. Every year they provide over 290,000 nights' accommodation to Britain's young homeless. They work directly with more than 800 young people each day. Since 1969 they have helped more than 73,000 young people. The work is about much more than just shelter. They support young people to help them turn their lives around, and develop to their potential. Their aim is to give young people the power to regain control of their lives, to give them back their future, and for that future to be brighter. Centrepoint is the place homeless young people can call home.
October– Riding for the Disabled - RDA North Region is a volunteer organisation overseeing the provision of riding and carriage driving for disabled people in Cumbria, Durham, Tyne & Wear, and Northumberland. They are dedicated to making a real and lasting difference to the lives of disabled people, enabling them to ride or carriage drive to benefit their health and well being and to achieve their goals. The North region groups provide for about 600 riders and a small number of carriage drivers, aided by over 400 volunteer helpers. This makes for more than 10,000 rides/drives per year for the benefit of the rider and drivers health and well being! The instructors work closely with physiotherapists and other health professionals to encourage every individual to aim for attainable goals – some modest, others far more ambitious.
November – Royal British Legion - The Royal British Legion is a UK charity that provides financial, social and emotional support to millions who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, and their dependants. They are one of the UK’s largest membership organisations and recognised as custodians of Remembrance. They also run the annual Poppy Appeal. They help serving and ex-Service personnel and their families. Not just those who fought in the two World Wars, but also those involved in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fight
December 2009 – Bibles in Braille – Around the world, more than 300 million people are either blind or not able to see well enough to read. This is why the Bible Society is committed to making the Bible available in Braille. However, this task is a huge financial challenge, particularly as Braille Bibles are very expensive to produce. They are produced on heavy paper so they can be printed on both sides. When it is complete, the whole Bible fills an average of 50 enormous volumes. For this reason, many are kept in libraries or in centres for visually-impaired people so that the whole community has access.