The Spirit of Christmas Appeal, led by Connected Voice in collaboration with Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council, has raised a total £63,535 thanks to donations from 160 local businesses and residents.
All the money raised was distributed to local charities to boost their depleted funds and support their efforts in our communities during the festive season.
A total of 47 charities and community organisations across Newcastle and Gateshead were given funds ahead of Christmas to help them deliver their vital work in supporting those people and families most in need - at a time when those needs have never been greater.
In Gateshead 18 organisations received £24,324 to support their projects. In Newcastle 19 organisations received £23,232, and 10 organisations working across both Newcastle and Gateshead received £15,979.
Grants ranged from £165 to £3,000 and paid for a wide range of projects including:
- Delivery of afternoon tea to isolated elderly people
- Distributing Christmas food dinner hampers to disadvantaged families
- Refurbishment and distribution of bikes to children and vulnerable adults
- Mixed activity packs to keep children and young people occupied over the festive break
- Festive gift bag gift cards, festive food, and phone top ups for people seeking asylum
- Gift vouchers for parents / carers of children with disabilities suffering financial hardship
- Presents for domestic violence survivors and their children
- Toiletry vouchers and practical gifts for neonatal families
- Food and hamper vouchers for vulnerable veterans
Lisa Goodwin, Connected Voice Chief Executive said: “The Spirit of Christmas Appeal was about harnessing the goodwill of those in a position to make a difference this Christmas and we’re all incredibly grateful for the generosity local people and businesses showed. Special thanks go to Northern Gas and Power and their Chief Executive Fokhrul Islam, Sleep Station, Unison Newcastle City Branch and Willmott Dixon Construction for their generous donations.
“These remain incredibly difficult times for so many families on both sides of the river and every individual and business that donated to the Appeal made a real difference in making their lives that little bit better at Christmas.”
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said: "I would like to thank every resident, business and community who donated to the Spirit of Christmas appeal, every single pound raised has made a huge difference to organisations who have provided vital care and support throughout the pandemic.
"Families across the region are struggling with the impact of the pandemic and our voluntary sector and charities, guided by Connected Voice, continued to provide essential support over the festive period which was challenging for so many.
"Once again the generosity and collective spirit of Newcastle and Gateshead has shone through and brought our communities closer to overcoming this virus. The pandemic is still impacting every corner of our region and I would urge everyone to continue protecting their families, neighbours, and vulnerable members of their community. Thank you for everything you are doing."
Councillor Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council said: “The response to the Spirit of Christmas appeal was absolutely incredible and I would like to personally thank all the residents, businesses and communities of Gateshead and Newcastle for getting behind the appeal so wholeheartedly.
“It has undoubtedly been an incredibly difficult time for everyone and I’m very proud of the community spirit and the overwhelming generosity we have seen that has raised money to help our most vulnerable families.
“We know that there are more challenges ahead, so I would urge everyone to continue to stay at home as much as possible and to protect themselves and others and continue to stay safe.”
Connected Voice will write a detailed report highlighting the positive difference the appeal made to residents in January.