Benevolence Fund 2017

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 2017 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:

2008 | 20092010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020


January 2017:  Mission Aviation Fellowship

MAF uses planes to transform the lives of the world’s most isolated people in need.  Flying onto desert and jungle airstrips, lakes and rivers, tracks and roads, MAF light aircraft and their mission pilots go the extra miles to provide a lifeline.  Working in partnership with hundreds of other Christian and relief organisations MAF enables practical help, physical healing, and spiritual hope to be delivered to many of the most remote and inaccessible communities on the planet.

February: Cedarwood trust

The Cedarwood Trust is a community development charity working on the Meadow Well Estate of North Tyneside. This is a community full of untapped energy and creativity which is hampered by the levels of poverty and income deprivation it experiences. We believe that the community have the resources themselves to make a lasting difference and we work to raise confidences and aspirations in order to change lives.

Much of our work is focused upon those experiencing the highest levels of poverty including over 60's and young families. The Meadow Well Estate is often seen, from the outside, in negative terms, particularly relating to income deprivation and poverty - these are major challenges for us all at the Cedarwood Trust but we aim to also celebrate all that is good within the Meadow Well Estate.

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This is a national charity that strives to improve the lives of children under sixteen with neurological conditions through research, information and direct, on-going support.

April: Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships run hospital ships that  reach out to the world's poorest people.  With operating theatres and a 40 bed ward, the vessels became an 11,701 tonne floating hospital, carrying a volunteer crew of 350 from all over the world.  This organisation exists as a compassionate response to a world need.  On ships and land bases dedicated volunteers bring their wide-ranging skills to promote health and well-being by serving the urgent surgical needs of the forgotten poor and empowering developing communities.


May: Christian Aid

Global Action logo

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.

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June: Samaritans

Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland. The service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Volunteers offer support by responding to phone calls, emails and letters. Alternatively people can drop in to a branch to have a face to face meeting. Samaritans have been helping people in distress since 1953. childrenThe service is provided by around 18,750 unpaid volunteers who work from 201 branches, all across the UK and Ireland. Samaritans are contacted more than five million times in one year - that's once every 6 seconds.

July: Salvation Army

The Salvation Army demonstrates Christian principles through practical support; offering unconditional friendship, and very practical help to people of all ages, backgrounds and needs.

The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland is part of the wider international Salvation Army, which is at work in 128 countries, 
It  has approximately
50,000 members
4,000 employees
1,500 Salvation Army officers (full-time ministers)​

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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: Opasi School, Kenya

Opasi schoolchildrenHorizon Junior Academy was set up in Opasi in 2013 with roughly 50 pupils. (John and Jeannette Bygate came across it soon afterwards by pure chance). The land where the school was then situated had been leased to the church for the purpose of building a school, but after the death of the owner his heir had other plans for the land, so head teacher Sam Hosea discussed the situation with his father, who allowed him to transfer the school to land he owned fairly close by, in Ahenyo Village in Migori county.
The school was originally started by two volunteer teachers because the children of Opasi would normally have had to travel a fair way to get to an overcrowded government school. The fees for this are relatively high for farmers who are constantly faced with financial challenges; they farm land with unpredictable climatic conditions and lack of proper support from the government and politicians – not important enough!
Currently the school ranges from pre-school to standard three, handled by four teachers. They have managed to construct three rooms but a fourth is still not finished. The numbers keep on growing. The staff are doing their best to keep education going in the community, despite the fact that local government ignores their efforts and gives them no aid whatsoever. It is just one of probably hundreds of schools around Kenya in that position. The aim is to provide quality education to the under-privileged and to become an efficient school that might be able to attract the authorities’ consideration for support.
The school asks for a very small fee from parents to cater for the basic needs, but some cannot even afford that (again, quite common in rural Kenya). Since they cannot afford to pay teachers a 'proper' salary, they give them a remuneration of 1,000/= (roughly £8) a month ... if funds allow. Yet everything they need in the school costs money, which they do not always have. To us the sums involved may seem small: we (John and Jeannette and party) bought 50 exercise books and 50 pencils for them as presents, at a cost of about £8, but even that 'small sum' was beyond their means!

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October: Nightstop  

Volunteer hosts provide somewhere to sleep so that vulnerable people do not have to sleep on the streets. Hosts receive specialist training so that they can provide a safe, clean and warm environment for the vulnerable. They are inspiring people, essential to Nightstop. Nightstop provides emergency accommodation for all sorts of vulnerable people, but mainly for the young, those in the 16-25 age bracket. Nightstop then works to provide longer term accommodation for those accommodated under emergency conditions.


British LegionNovember:   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 2017 & January 2018:  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.

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