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 we supported in 2015 are given below. Clicking on a title will open a new tab containing the web page of the relevant charity.
Charities supported in other years can be seen on the following pages:
December 2014/January 2015: St Cuthbert's Hospice
The Hospice opened in 1988 and provides day care and treatments for people with life-limiting illnesses, as well as giving support to their families. A 10 bed In-Patient Unit opened in 2006 to provide specialist palliative care to people living in Durham, Chester le Street and Derwentside.
The Day Hospice aims to help patients to promote their quality of life while continuing to live at home, and can help families by offering a break from caring duties. The staff and volunteers offer supportive care in friendly and relaxed surroundings.
The inpatient unit provides holistic care to patients and their carers. Each spacious bedroom has en-suite facilities, and access to a veranda overlooking the gardens. The unit cares for people with complicated medical needs, and admissions are made for help with symptom management, short term planned care to support relatives and carers, and for end of life care.
February 2015: Global Care (North East)
This local branch of Global Care has been raising funds for Cambodia for the past 3 years but we are now focusing on fundraising for the Soroti Day Centre for children with disabilities in Uganda. Within this society there is a stigma in relation to disability. The Soroti Day Centre is where children with disabilities can come for treatment, fun and loving care. It offers respite to families who may need a rest from the demands of 24 hour care, or give them the opportunity to work and earn a supplementary income. Ten children are brought to the centre each day, where they receive basic therapy, help with life skills, extra feeding and loving care.
13 year old Mark's story is not uncommon: prior to attending the centre. Mark had only ever left the house in order to visit the hospital. The disability centre has opened up a whole new world for this vulnerable young man.
5 year old Joy was blinded and disfigured shortly after birth, the victim of an acid attack. Since she began attending
the centre, her mother has been jailed for beating this little girl, after she spilled a cup of water. Sponsorship is
paying for Joy to board at a school for the blind near Soroti, where she is currently on trial to see if the care is
suitable for such a relatively young child. Global Care has agreed that Joy can live at the centre in the holidays,
where she will need a full-time matron to care for her.
For further information, see John or Anne Scott.
March: Age UK
It is dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. The over-60s is the fastest-growing group in society and there are more of us than ever before.
Ageing is not an illness, but it can be challenging. At Age UK we provide services and support at a national and local level to inspire, enable and support older people. We stand up and speak for all those who have reached later life, and also protect the long-term interests of future generations.
April: Karogocho School Project
The Korogocho School Project, a group with Small Charity status, recognises that, for the slum-dwellers of Korogocho, Nairobi, school is far more than a place to attend lessons. It is a shelter from some of the harsher deprivations of slum life, a place which can provide some food, safety, and a focus in life for young people living in difficult circumstances. By supporting New Star Light Children of Zion Primary School, we are supporting the education of Korogocho's children. Yet this education is generating the leaders of Korogocho's future, young people that will change both the slum and wider society in the future. (The Headmaster and founder of the school was himself a child of Korogocho.)
The New Star Light school is run by volunteer teachers (who may or may not get a small monthly allowance) and receives no state support. The focus of this campaign is to fundraise for the construction of a dedicated school building for New Star Light to move into. (Its present building still has no electricity, water, windows or doors - nor even a roof!) The school will then be able to teach its students in proper classrooms, and also operate as an exam centre, which will allow it to access government education funds. Students pay a small monthly tuition fee to the school, but around half the pupils live in a condition of poverty and struggle to pay the fees. By providing access to government funds, a new school building will help New Star Light to continue to educate all its pupils.
We are developing links with New Star Light, so that student volunteers from Durham can go over to Korogocho and help out with various projects, as happened in summer 2013. (It is important to note that whilst KSP aims to facilitate these links, the students fund the trip themselves.)
As a student-run group, there are no running costs. Thanks to the direct link with the school, there are no middlemen or external charities involved in the project. All money donated to KSP goes directly towards helping New Star Light Primary School, and hopefully other schools in other parts of Kenya before long. It does not take much to help: for instance, when we were there on 2013, we provided one school of 50 children that meets in the local church, with an exercise book and a pencil each, plus several rubbers and pencil sharpeners - and the bill came to about £7-8! So in these cases a little does go a long way.
We believe that by supporting the school you will be helping the children of Kenya to start some good of their own. For more information, see John or Jeannette Bygate
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.
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) operates three helicopters, 365 days a year, across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. GNAAS crews respond to around 1,000 call outs each year and on board our aircraft are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics, who bring accident and emergency expertise to the scene.
Whether it's in a city centre or a remote mountain, our medics respond to wherever they are needed in the shortest space of time. The helicopters are never more than a 15-minute flight from the nearest hospital.
July: Action for Children
Action for Children supports and speaks out for the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK. They support families at critical times and with difficult problems. They help find carers for children who can't live with their families. They help vulnerable and excluded young people. They provide specialist help and support for disabled children and in their schools they help children and young people reach their full potential. In 2009 the society celebrated 140 years of helping the UK's most vulnerable children.
August: Benevolence Fund
An emergency hardship fund for immediate distribution to needy cases within the Church and its community. Distributed at the discretion of the Minister.
September: Durham StreetLights
Durham StreetLights is a joint initiative of Durham churches, which aims to show God’s love by offering practical and emotional support to people on the streets at night and in the early hours of the morning.
StreetLights is similar to programmes such as Street Angels and Street Pastors. Now present in over 100 UK cities these have a positive impact on crime and antisocial behaviour in town centres (particularly in the vicinity of bars and clubs) by providing a calming presence on the streets late at night.
Working in partnership with Durham Police and Council, StreetLights volunteers are people who care, listen and provide practical support for those who use clubs, bars and other leisure and entertainment venues in Durham city centre on Friday and Saturday nights..
CRISIS is the national charity for single homeless people. They are dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life changing services and campaigning for change.
CRISIS has found that since 2010 all forms of homelessness have been on the rise. They have ambitious plans for the future, increasing the scope of their services, education, employment, housing and well being. They are planning to open new Crisis Skylight centres across the U.K. Their strategy is designed to move people on, out of the instability and vulnerability of homelessness, to a stable and rewarding life.
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 2015 & January 2016: The Food Bank
One in four people in this region is living below the poverty line and families are struggling to put food on the table. It was in response to this need that the Durham Foodbank, an initiative of the Durham Christian Partnership was established in 2011 under the auspices of the Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust is a national organisation which sets out the standards for such an enterprise, and has an established training programme for volunteers.
The families and individuals who come to the Foodbank are referred to it by a variety of professional people and organisations, such as GP's, DHSS, and Social Services, and are given sufficient food for a minimum of three days, and may receive three such boxes before being referred to other agencies.
This is not a resource for the homeless, it is is for families and individuals who have met a crisis. The crisis could be redundancy, illness of bread winner not entitled to sick pay, late arrival of benefits etc. and new foodbanks are opening all the time throughout the UK.
In 2014 Elvet became a distribution point and has been open every week since it started. Not only do the volunteers distribute the food but also provide an opportunity for people attending to talk about their situation over a cup of tea or coffee. This is also an opportunity for the Elvet food bank volunteer to make sure that information on all available support is given to those in need.