Since I first picked up a camera in 1985, I have had the privilege of meeting a number of amazing people from all walks of life. Some famous, others not so and the remainder are just regular people who have been doing things for others all of their lives and have made the lives of others more livable.
Over the last several months,and as a part of a charity c0verage promotion I’ve been running, I have had the fortune of meeting people who have made that difference, or are in the process of doing so, across both Stanley and Consett.
From the likes of the Royal British Legion and their support of the Great War Commemorations in Consett and the superb “Lights Out” event at the Civic Hall in Stanley, to the likes of the Variety Club (Northern Region) and the amazing work done by dedicated groups like the 99th Garrison, a Star Wars orientated costumed charity group who attend events and raise funds for charities such as “Dreamflight”.
Then, of course, we have the smaller community groups and it is these small groups that go largely unsung but who do make a difference. And these are the smaller groups I’ve been aiming to assist.
One such group, H.O.P.E.D. (Help Open Eyes to Disability) meet every Tuesday afternoon at the St Stephen’s Community Centre in Stanley and offer a break to all disabled and housebound people for the afternoon.
Founded in 2013, the group has grown steadily in numbers and offers a range of activities and arranges day trips to places such as Whitby (September 8th for anyone who would like to come along) or, an area where you can simply come along and read a book or have some private time with fellow members.
Moving in from there, we also have groups that raise funds for the likes of major charities such as “BBC Children In Need”. One such group, Stanley’s Children In Need, is now two thirds of its way through it’s schedule of events for 2014. And, having already raised £200 in June with a fancy dress football match, £120 this month with a family fun day and a planned super event for the night of the national appeal on November 14th, this group is really flying.
With this being the WW1 Commemorative Centenary, many local groups have come together to remember the events surrounding the outbreak of the Great War, and have also based come of their charity events around it.
Among them have been the Annfield Plain Community Centre , Beamish Museum, The Tanfield Railway and many other local charities and organisations. Some holding memorial days and related charity events and other hosting major occasions.
Overall,though, the region can hold its collective heads high as, once again, the north east has been recognised through various polls to be the most charitable region in the country and that is something to be extremely proud of.