“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
These are challenging times for our communities, but we see God at work in the brilliant ways that individuals and organisations are coming together to respond to the needs of our neighbours. Here is a list of things that are happening in and around the South West Tyneside Circuit.
Please do use these to help you if you or those near you are in need of help. There are also opportunities to volunteer to get involved.
Perhaps as a Church we could also commit to praying regularly for God to bless this good work:
The Government has asked local authorities to support vulnerable people in our communities.
In Gateshead this is for both financially and medically vulnerable people. You can refer yourself or someone else to get practical support through this link.
If you are in County Durham you can find out the available support here.
Age UK have extended their support for all people, not just the elderly. They are coordinating a volunteer database to help with everything from food shopping, collecting prescriptions and friendly phone calls. To ask for help or to volunteer, visit their website. You can also call 0191 477 3559.
Mutual Aid Groups
Many local communities have combined efforts to help their neighbours into groups of local residents called Mutual Aid Groups. This is a really good way to help your neighbour and also to seek help if you’re self isolating. You can find your local group here.
Methodist Homes for the Aged – Live at Home Scheme
Our friends at the Live at Home Scheme, based in Chopwell and Rowlands Gill, work all year round to support older people in Gateshead. At the moment they are still able to provide support for older people and are looking for more volunteers to help them do this important work.
Ryton Health Hub and The Pickle Palace
The Pickle Palace have joined with Ryton Health club to deliver food parcels and hot meals to those who are struggling. See @HannahsPicklePalace on Facebook for more information.
Help with Benefits and Finances
Citizens Advice Gateshead are still operating over the phone: 0300 3309 035
Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse
We know that domestic abuse rates are increasing under lockdown. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247. Or Women’s Aid has an online chat service. These are not emergency services – in an emergency you should call 999.
If you would like resources about how we can help victims of domestic abuse as a Christian community, including prayers, the charity Restored is a good place to start.