Salvation Army branch opens its doors to youngsters to celebrate 140 years of helping people

Irene Lawson, Christine Jones, Carol Hall and Councillor Fay Cunningham with local schoolchildren, Aidan McCoy, Erin Newbrook'and Ben Patterson at a celebration of 140 years of the Salvation Army in Jarrow. Picture by Tom Banks
Irene Lawson, Christine Jones, Carol Hall and Councillor Fay Cunningham with local schoolchildren, Aidan McCoy, Erin Newbrook'and Ben Patterson at a celebration of 140 years of the Salvation Army in Jarrow. Picture by Tom Banks

The doors were opened on the home of Jarrow’s Salvation Army branch to celebrate 140 years of helping people in the town.

Youngsters from nearby St Bede’s Primary School were invited along to find out more about the workings of the group and its volunteers - as part of Heritage Open Day.

I just felt it was the right thing to do. It was a way of serving my church and helping people.

Carol Hall

The Salvation Army has been based in the town since September 9, 1878 providing support and help to those in need both locally and internationally.

It’s Ladies Fellowship is currently collecting 1p, 2p and 5p pieces as part of their Wateraid project to help create better drinking facilities in countries where there are none.

During the open event held at the church in Monkton Road, Jarrow, youngsters were given the chance to find out more about the Salvation Army, through a special assembly and exhibitions dotted around the room - with some being given the opportunity to dress up in the uniform.

Carol Hall has been part of the Salvation Army since the day she was born.

Now, aged 65, she is the fourth generation to be part of the movement which was first started in 1865 by William Booth in London.

Her sister Gwynneth Gomersall is a Divisional Envoy - an officer within the ranks of the Salvation Army.

Mrs Hall said: I am 65-years old now and I have a Salvationist since birth.

“I just felt it was the right thing to do. It was a way of serving my church and helping people.

“My sister is a Divisional Envoy, she was little too when she became part of the Salvation Army,”

Mrs Hall added: “We have all sorts of things going on for people of all ages. We have the Sunday Club, karate, the girls learn the tambourine and we also have a weekly coffee morning on a Friday.

“We host the Ladies Fellowship once a month and we were also one of the first groups to take part in the Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium run by Anne Walsh.

“Unfortunately, due to age we have been unable to take part in the recent events.

“People often come to the door asking for help and we try and do our best. The team here all work together.”

The Heritage Open Day aims to give people the chance to visit buildings, old and modern, that are usually closed to the public or would normally charge an entry fee. Special tours, events and activities are also held to give people an insight into the history of the building or group. This year’s Heritage Open Days were held over two weekends, September 6-9 and 13-16.

For more details on the Salvation Army visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk