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 2013 were as given below. Clicking on a title will open a new tab containing the web page of the relevant charity.
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
This is a national charity for single homeless people. There are many ways in which Crisis aims to help these people, e.g., Crisis Skylight offers a variety of activities for homeless people and the general public; Crisis Christmas opens its doors in 7 centres across the UK over the Christmas period; the Crisis Supportive Housing model provides innovative solutions to homelessness while creating high quality, affordable homes for low-income essential workers, and formerly homeless adults; in addition to many other schemes. Crisis established its first Skylight Learning and Activity Centre outside London - in the North of England, at Newcastle upon Tyne.
The centre, in City House (City Road, NE1 2AF) opened its doors to members in April 2007. Crisis Skylight Newcastle combines free practical and creative workshops and more formal learning opportunities leading to qualifications and employment. Classes include art, music, drama and dance and vocational workshops such as carpentry, IT & job skills.
Durham University's MethSoc is the oldest Christian society at Durham University. Their aim is to provide a society in which students can come to know God better and support one another in their spiritual journeys. They are a society open to members of ALL Christian denominations or none. They usually have about 3 meetings per week - typically a Bible study (Wednesday lunchtimes), a discussion/reflection type meeting (currently on Thursdays) and a meeting in the Upper Rooms at Elvet Methodist Church after the evening service on Sundays (19.30 until whenever it's time to go home!).
April: The Food Bank
Durham Food Bank is based at North Road Methodist Church
Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to the food bank. All food given out by Durham food bank is donated.
"Supermarket Collections" are one of the main ways that food is donated: These are food drives held at supermarkets where volunteers give shoppers a "food bank shopping list" and ask them to buy an extra item or two for local people in crisis.
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: Send a Cow to Africa
For over 20 years they have been helping thousands of African families and orphans grow enough food to eat, sell their produce and develop small businesses that last.
Send a Cow works hand in hand with poor families, teaching them the skills they need to build new lives free from poverty and hunger. By providing training, livestock, seeds and support, we restore hope and create stronger communities for the future.
In turn, these families then pass on young livestock, seeds or training to others. And so on. And so on. This "Pass it On" principle not only builds stronger communities, it allows us to help even more people to develop skills, confidence and self respect.
This year, they will help almost 14,000 families along on their journey out of poverty. Each of those will go on to lend a hand to an average of 10 further families, restoring real hope to communities in rural Africa.
July : Leprosy Mission
They are an international Christian development organisation, who focus specifically on leprosy and offer specialist expertise on reconstructive surgery. This includes treating leprosy complications. They address the fear and stigma associated with having leprosy. Many people suffer in silence because they are too ashamed to find help or do not know where to get help. They work in around 30 countries across Africa, South Asia and East Asia, providing services regardless of religion or ethnicity, promoting equality and social justice.
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: Methodist Relief Fund (MRDF)
MRDF is currently providing financial and organisational support to more than 40 community-based organisations in over 18 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. They also respond to emergencies through their own overseas partners, Methodist Church links and Action by Churches Together (ACT) International. MRDF also tackles the root causes of poverty such as climate change, unfair debt and trade, by working in partnership with others on education and advocacy.
October: Alzheimer's Society
This is a membership organisation which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many of the 25,000 members have personal experience of dementia, as carers, health professionals or people with dementia themselves, and their experiences help to inform their work. Their branch services include day care and home care for people with dementia, as well as support and befriending services to help partners and families cope with the demands of caring. From Alzheimer's Cafes and innovative "singing for the brain" sessions, to memory-book projects and group outings, the branches provide both practical support and an essential point of human contact.
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 2013 / January 2014: British Heart Foundation
The vision of the British Heart Foundation is of a world in which people do not die prematurely of heart disease. They hope to achieve this through pioneering research, vital prevention activity and ensuring quality care and support for everyone living with heart disease. When you have a vision that big in mind, it helps to set some milestones along the way. That's why they've set a number of objectives to guide their day-to-day work. But they can't do any of it alone. They are working alongside government, other health charities, health professionals and thousands of dedicated supporters to beat heart disease. Everybody has a part to play. Within a generation, they aim to: reduce cardiovascular disease in the UK to one of the lowest levels in Europe. Within a decade, they aim to half the number of people under 75 who die from cardiovascular disease, make sure at least two thirds of people under 75 survive a heart attack, reduce heart-related deaths in all UK local authority areas to the current level in South East England or below, reverse the increase in childhood obesity.