Shields Gazette's 170 years of being the 'Voice of South Tyneside'

As the ‘voice of South Tyneside’ we are always keen to give charities, good causes or struggling individuals the chance to make themselves heard.

Winners at the Best of South Tyneside Awards 2018
Winners at the Best of South Tyneside Awards 2018

By doing this we’ve helped to raise thousands of pounds and raise awareness of many important matters over the years.

One of our most successful campaigns was ‘Knives Ruin Lives’, which was launched in 2007 – this was a mission to highlight and educate young people on the dangers of knife possession.

The campaign was praised by the then Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Home Secretary Vernon Coaker.

It also played a part in getting the laws surrounding knife crime changed – enabling magistrates to have greater powers with sentencing.

In 2010 the Gazette helped Cancer Connections raise the final £50,000 needed to buy its £350,000 charity bungalow in Harton Lane, South Shields, by creating the Quids In appeal.Within three months the target was smashed and the charity continues to thrive.

Deborah Roberts, co-founder, said: “The Gazette was instrumental in giving the final push for us to be able to raise that last £50,000 and we will be forever grateful.

“It’s also continued to support us, not only in our fundraising ventures, but by also giving our charity members a chance to tell their stories and to raise awareness of different types of cancers."

The Gazette played its part in helping St Clare’s Hospice with a cash shortfall of £50,000 back in June 2012.

The hospice, which sadly closed earlier this year, had annual fundraising costs of £2million – £1.4million of which it had to self-raise.

Readers contacted the paper during its seven-month campaign to tell their stories of how St Clare’s had touched their lives, as well as holding fundraising events including coffee mornings, charity nights and darts marathons.

In February 2014 In Miley’s Memory was launched in honour of Miley Turbitt who died aged just 14 weeks while waiting for a new heart, as medics scoured Europe looking for a suitable donor organ.

The campaign led to more than 2,000 people joining the donor register in the borough, and also saw Miley’s mum Sharon Eckert travel to Downing Street on the first anniversary of her daughter’s death, to hand over a petition calling for the Government to introduce an opt-out system for organ donation across England.

The Gazette is also keen to highlight the hard work of the borough’s unsung heroes through its annual Best of South Tyneside Awards and Best Of Health Awards – which are currently ongoing.

Both of these events call on the public to nominate inspirational people who they feel are worthy of an award.