South Shields people make our little town with a big heart literally that - Emma Lewell Buck MP
As I do every year, I watched my friends and neighbours brave the run into the icy cold North Sea on Boxing Day in aid of Cancer Connections and many other local charities.
Two of our local charities came about after the parents of Charlie and Carter Cookson, Choe Rutherford and Liam Curry suffered the most unimaginable pain. They have used this pain to dedicate their lives to making a difference for others in their children’s names, leaving a profound legacy.
Through the Charlie and Carter Foundation, families whose little ones have life limiting conditions are given a range of financial and other support to help them care for their child and navigate the myriad of professionals involved in their lives.
Through the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust our young and talented have been supported to achieve their goals and dreams in music and sports when the odds stacked against them may have made it impossible to reach those goals.
My friend Colin, who after seeing his wife’s friend go through breast cancer, donned a massive Big Pink Dress and hasn’t stopped running in it since 2014, raising lots of cash in the process for Breast Cancer Now and other charities.
South Tyneside Churches Together, who work to combat loneliness and hunger and stop our most vulnerable young people from becoming homeless as well as supporting those arriving in our town seeking refugee and asylum.
There are also the real-life super heroes South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade who since 1866 have been ‘Always Ready’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to give up their time to help anyone hurt, injured and in need around our coast, putting themselves into situations most of us would be terrified of.
There are also those quiet heroes among us who I see every single day giving to those less fortunate, a sandwich for the young homeless lad who sits on King Street, a friendly smile for the Big Issue seller outside of Morrisons, the people who drop off food and toiletries for our local foodbanks at my office and so many more.
There is nowhere near enough space to fit into this short column how many of you make ‘our little town with the big heart’ literally just that, but as we go into 2020 I want to say a huge thank you for all you do and for being you and making our home so special. I hope to see you soon, that the year ahead is good to you all and don’t forget my door is always open.