Posted on Tuesday 20 December 2016
Twenty three community groups, a host of volunteers and 300 children and families from across the borough are gathering tomorrow to celebrate a festive project 'Gateshead Together at Christmas'.
The celebration, on Wednesday 21 December at Gateshead Leisure Centre, is the end of a series of Christmas themed events in 17 wards across Gateshead, bringing people together to encourage a sense of community spirit and look out for those who might be isolated and alone this Christmas.
The event will include a visit to Santa’s Grotto for 300 local children and will be attended by the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Pauline Dillon.
This summer, Gateshead Council successfully applied for ‘Celebrate England’ funding from the Big Lottery - a programme launched to help neighbourhoods celebrate through bringing people together to create a sense of community.
That funding has helped 23 Gateshead groups organise neighbourhood events for communities including isolated, older people – some in sheltered schemes – low income families, people with learning disabilities and ethnic minority groups, during December.
The aim has been to help people get to know each other, create a sense of belonging and support, build better intergenerational relationships and stronger communities, reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing.
Over the last two years Gateshead Council has also worked with a range of voluntary and community organisations to help support ‘Fill the Holiday Gap’ projects across the borough. The projects support children and families, who normally receive free school meals,
The aim of the Gateshead Together at Christmas project was to build on this work and bring together whole communities and residents of all ages.
Councillor Linda Green, Gateshead Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Volunteering said: “The event this week will provide an opportunity for individuals and volunteers involved in the community events to celebrate and build on their successes over what can be a difficult time of year.
“The Gateshead Together at Christmas project is also a wonderful opportunity to build a platform for the future, to grow stronger, solid neighbourhoods, improve relationships and help create a culture of good neighbourliness across the borough.”