As well as our main Church project, we also support several other charities with smaller sums, collected after communion services at the church.
The charities supported in 2012 were as given below. Clicking on a title will open a new tab containing the web page of the relevant charity.
December 2011/January 2012: South Tyneside Churches KEY Project
KEY was established in 1992 as a direct response to the death of a homeless young man on the streets of South Shields. Churches Together in South Tyneside were appalled that such a thing could happen in their town and decided to seek to respond to the needs of young homeless people.
Initially they collected food and cleaning materials to give out to young people in need. Today, a group of volunteers put together Emergency Support Packs to assist young people starting out on their first tenancy, between benefit claims or, simply, in need.
In order to prevent young people from becoming homeless in the first place, KEY provides a mediation service for young people and their families with a view to the young people remaining at home or returning there. However, if necessary, KEY also assists some young people to find and keep a home, working closely with housing providers, colleges and youth services.
Elvet member, Jean Burnside, is Chief Officer of KEY and an experienced social worker. She works with voluntary organisations to ensure that KEY does its best for the young homeless of South Tyneside.
With all the recent cuts to funding, local authorities and voluntary organisations alike are struggling for funding. All have to "deliver more for less" and KEY has had to make four staff members redundant in recent months. Despite this, KEY is keen to develop the second, 10-bed, property - as this is the right way forward for the organization.
February: Otters Swimming club
"Durham Otters" Swimming club has been running for over 25 years in the Durham city area to provide a safe and friendly environment for those who find public swimming sessions unsuitable, but who would like to swim or relax in a pool. The charity, run entirely by volunteers, gives disabled adults and children the chance to socialise and exercise in a safe and relaxing environment. Some members are physically disabled, suffering from anything from back problems to partial paralysis; others are learning disabled, but all enjoy the supportive environment of the club, which uses a shallow water pool, a little over 1m deep. The club runs sessions on a Monday evening from 7pm - 8pm. Kids enjoy the opportunity to play and learn to swim, and adults have the peace of mind of in-water physical support and company whilst swimming or learning to swim. With excellent changing facilities, easy access, a hoist and a range of swimming aids, Durham Otters is one of few community charity services provided to help those who could not swim in a public pool for confidence or mobility reasons.
Mum/Adult Swimmer who has been a member of Durham Otters for 4 years, says: "Durham Otters is the highlight of the week for many of the children and adults who come along. More than anything, it is a social activity as well as a relaxing environment for light exercise. All the volunteers are friendly and supportive and will help out or just leave swimmers to their own devices if they want."
For more information contact John or Kirstine Chamberlayne:(0191) 386 2146.
March: Hearing Dogs for the Deaf
Hearing Dogs for the Deaf is a national charity and centre for excellence in training dogs to alert deaf people to
everyday household sounds and danger signals in the home, work place and public buildings.
The charity trains hearing dogs to alert deaf people to important household sounds and danger signals such as the alarm clock, doorbell, telephone and smoke alarm providing independence, confidence and security as well as a valuable companion.
Nearly nine million of the UK population experience some degree of hearing loss. Over half a million are severely or profoundly deaf. Hearing Dogs for Deaf People want to help as many of these people as possible by creating life changing partnerships between deaf people and specially trained hearing dogs.
The breeds they train to become hearing dogs are typically Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Each hearing dog takes around eighteen months training. Hearing Dogs was launched in 1982 and there are currently over 750 working partnerships in the country.
Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland. The service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Volunteers offer support by responding to phone calls, emails and letters. Alternatively people can drop in to a branch to have a face to face meeting. Samaritans have been helping people in distress since 1953. The service is provided by around 18,750 unpaid volunteers who work from 201 branches, all across the UK and Ireland. Samaritans are contacted more than five million times in one year - that's once every 6 seconds.
May: Christian Aid
This is a Christian organisation that insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. It works globally to eradicate the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality. Christian Aid is part of a wider movement for social justice and provides urgent, practical and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes. Its essential purpose is, to expose the scandal of poverty; to help in practical ways to root it out from the world; to challenge and change structures and systems that favour the rich and powerful over the poor and marginalised.
June: Mercy Ships
Hospital ships that reach out to the world's poorest people. With operating theatres and a 40 bed ward, the vessels became an 11,701 tonne floating hospital, carrying a volunteer crew of 350 from all over the world. This organisation exists as a compassionate response to a world need. On ships and land bases dedicated volunteers bring their wide-ranging skills to promote health and well-being by serving the urgent surgical needs of the forgotten poor and empowering developing communities.
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 its 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.
August: Church Benevolence Fund
This is an emergency hardship fund for immediate distribution to needy cases within the Church and its community. It is distributed at the discretion of the Minister.
September: East Durham First Responders
They are volunteer Community First Responders who live or work within ;County Durham. They work in partnership with North East Ambulance Service and respond to life threatening emergency medical calls within our area, providing vital assistance to people who need urgent medical attention prior to the arrival of the Emergency Ambulance. First Responders in the North East Ambulance Service region are trained, controlled and deployed by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).
Volunteer hosts provide somewhere to sleep so that vulnerable people do not have to sleep on the streets. Hosts receive specialist training so that they can provide a safe, clean and warm environment for the vulnerable. They are inspiring people, essential to Nightstop. Nightstop provides emergency accommodation for all sorts of vulnerable people, but mainly for the young, those in the 16-25 age bracket. Nightstop then works to provide longer term accommodation for those accommodated under emergency conditions.
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 dependents. They are one of the UK's largest membership organizations and recognized 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 fighting today. They provide welfare services, campaign on a range of issues affecting Service people.
December 2012 / January 2013: Willow Burn Hospice, Lanchester
Willow Burn has provided palliative care in the community since 1989, operating out of a ward on the Maiden Law Hospital site. Initially a day hospice, Willow Burn now also provides in-patient beds. Their new project is to provide a new hospice whilst keeping the unique atmosphere of Willow Burn. In order to meet the increasing requirements, a new environment is needed, with a purpose-built facility