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 2016 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 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.
February 2015: Tear Fund
Tear Fund is a Christian organisation born out of the Evangelical Alliance in 1968. Tear Fund aims to help people in the world who are in the greatest need. They work through local churches, church based and Christian partners to seek out and help the most marginalised and vulnerable groups in these places. They help communities through a process which leads them to name their own needs, recognise their own strengths and find their own solutions to poverty. This has proven to be effective, long lasting , far reaching and transformative.
So far more than 75,000 churches have been envisioned, helping them address poverty and injustice in their communities; more than 17 million people have been helped through community development projects; more than 7.6 million people have been helped to recover from and prepare for disasters; more than 175 unjust policies and practices have been changed to deliver justice for poor communities.
MHA is a charity providing care, accommodation and support services for more than 16,000 older people throughout Britain. It was founded in 1943 and although society has changed beyond all recognition since then the work it does is as relevant today as it was then. Its mission is " to improve the quality of life for older people, inspired by Christian concern".
Their approach places value on spiritual as well as physical health and well being in later life. They create opportunities for older people of all faiths and none to gain peace, fulfilment and meaning in their lives.
April:St. John's Ambulance
St. John's Ambulance is the nations leading first aid charity. Every year more than 40,000 people learn how to save a life through their training programmes. They provide first aid in the community, at events such as sporting fixtures and music festivals and work alongside the NHS in response to 999 calls. They are always campaigning to raise awareness of first aid and directly educate the public.
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: 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.
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.
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: Josie's Dragonfly Trust
The aim of Josie’s Dragonfly Trust is to brighten the lives of children & young people living with cancer and to provide a moment of happiness when a moment is all they have.
1. Cash Gifts: They provide a single cash gift of £500 to young people between 13 and 20yrs and when cancer treatment is no longer considered curative. The money is for them to spend as they wish.
2. Dragonfly Dreams: Are for younger children (and sometimes older ones too)They can arrange a treat, a day out or to buy something that a child desperately wants. This really helps particularly when time is short. They support families by taking away some of the stress they face when they want to arrange something special for their child. Where possible they will arrange everything to help provide some extra memories.
3. Arts & Craft Activity Boxes for children on cancer wards.
Josie got a real buzz from purchasing activities and crafts for children and teenagers at the RVI in Newcastle where she was treated. She knew that having something to do could mean the difference between a good day in hospital or an unbearable day. They give a large parcel weighing about 15kg, full of activities and crafts to all of the Children’s Cancer Specialist Hospitals across the UK two or three times a year.
October: St. Margaret’s Centre
This is a local charity established in 1991 which offers various forms of work-related therapy to motivate people to regain their confidence and self-esteem whilst making preparation to return to employment, voluntary work, or to go on to further training.
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 2016 & January 2017: Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity
The Rainbow Trust provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.
They support over 2,000 families in England.