Here are the details of the eight organisations and charities in the running to be the 2014 Jam Jar Army beneficiary. Read why they think deserve support before voting for your favourite.
ALNWICK TOWN FC
Since the Club was saved some five-and-a-half years ago, it has made massive improvements going from one senior team and two junior sides, to the present date of two senior teams and 12 junior sides.
The first team has been promoted from the Northern Alliance (step 7) to the Northern League, Division Two (step 6) in the National Pyramid System and our ground has gone up two grades.
We were assisted by the Duke of Northumberland, but we have spent an additional £150,000, bringing the grade up to the higher grade to meet the Northern League criteria and allow us to also compete in the FA Vase and Northumberland Senior Cup.
In addition to raising the standards of St James’ Park and clubhouse, which was in a dire state without much equipment, the club has also spent money in supporting and expanding the juniors. The club pays for all L1 Coaching and first aid courses.
There are plans to start a girls’ team and additional junior teams. We have a number of junior pitches at Greensfield and these will be upgraded soon, next to the new high school.
We do not pay any players or managers; all they get is legitimate travel/petrol money, but some don’t even claim that. It still costs the club on average £250/£300 per game (match officials, buffet etc.)
The juniors are our future and we are the senior football club between Morpeth and the Borders, we are aiming to improve the junior and senior facilities.
In the last home game, 13 out of a squad of 16 were ex-junior players, as was the team management.
In our five-year business and development plan, we met all objectives and more, which we had agreed with His Grace as a condition of his help.
Yes, we have had help, but we more than matched that help, with all of it going into a facility the town and district can be proud of, but we always need more help to continue all the good work we are carrying out for the young people.
Dementia is a cruel and distressing illness that is affecting an increasing number of people in north Northumberland as our older population continues to grow.
It is impossible to overestimate the anguish and stress experienced by those who are living with the condition and their carers.
Their experience includes memory problems, confusion, unusual behaviours and fits of extreme emotion.
For the person with dementia, there is disorientation and fear that he or she will not be able to function and that others, even close family and friends will reject them.
For the carer, it can feel the person they love is slowly being lost, they feel constant grief, but cannot mourn or move on because the person is still alive.
Two years ago, an inspirational project, Blooming Well, was set up at The Alnwick Garden offering a safe environment where friendships were formed through activities designed, not only to stimulate, but promote wellbeing and, for some, a chance to re-learn basic skills.
The project has been supported by volunteers who have gained vital knowledge and understanding of dementia and how to support those with the condition.
We need your help to continue and expand our project for 2014.
BRITISH DIVERS MARINE LIFE RESCUE
As an animal rescue charity, they deal with abandoned, ill and injured seal pups all around the coastline of the UK, and a large number of these rescues take place on our Northumberland coast as the pups leave the large colony on the Farnes.
The organisation also deals with stranded dolphins, porpoise and whales around the UK, with trained volunteer marine mammal medics providing first aid and assessment and trying to support and refloat them whenever they can.
Recently, BDMLR medics have attended stranded whales in Beadnell and Druridge Bay, as well as dolphins and porpoise along our coastline.
BDMLR is staffed almost entirely of volunteers from the local community (only one full-time and one part-time employee nationally) and relies on donations for equipment, training and vetinary costs.
BDMLR have a dedicated group of volunteers in Northumberland and donations would greatly benefit the work they do in our region.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FIRST
A small not-for-profit organisation, run entirely by seven volunteers, they fund-raise and apply for grants to allow them to run trips, outings, activities and training courses for local families, specifically in the Amble, Warkworth and Hadston area.
They help many families who may be disadvantaged due to low or no income, poor education and poor transport links in this rural area.
They have run day trips to Edinburgh Zoo, Lightwater Valley, Alnwick Garden, South Shields Funfair and many many more.
On these trips, fund-raising by the volunteers has allowed families to have quality days out with free coach transport and significantly reduced entrance tickets.
They have run a series of ‘messy play’ sessions for families in Widdrington, are currently supporting a range of training oppurtunities for a group of young parents and have provided a course of family football-training sessions aimed primarily at getting fathers to spend time with their children.
Children and Families First have also paid for childcare sessions for a few families with children with special needs, which allows the carers some respite, and also for families who would otherwise be unable to afford any childcare.
All of the funding comes from applying for grants and running raffles and stalls at local community events.
In 2011, Children and Families First won Best Community Group in the Homes for Northumberland Spirit of the Community Awards and have been shortlisted for a Pride of Northumberland Award in both 2012 and 2013.
CITIZENS’ ADVICE BUREAU
CAB is a charity formed in response to the break-out of the Second World War.
Today it is helping people with different type of crisis.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the charity, so it would be great to benominated by the local community.
Many people are unaware that it is primarily run by volunteers; local people that give up their time to help their neighbours.
The charity is helping thousands of people across north Northumberland with today’s problems which come in many forms.
Inquiries are about employment, housing, benefits, relationships and financial worries. Issues that are hitting the headlines, like increased fuel costs, benefit sanctions and payday loans are affecting people in our community.
Working households who are turning to food banks and people forced to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table are coming to us for advice.
The service offers help to everyone regardless of who they are, in fact, we do not discriminate in any way.
The advice is free, independent, impartial and confidential.
The charity would use the money collected to pay for volunteer recruitment, training and expenses to enable the organisation to continue to meet the rise in demand for its services.
NORTHUMBRIAN HEDGEHOG RESCUE TRUST
Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue is based in Longframlington and takes in any injured/sick/orphaned hedgehog from across the area.
We are a registered charity run by approximately 30 volunteers who care for the hedgehogs daily (feeding/cleaning/checking health etc).
Others support us by fostering hedgehogs which are unable to survive release into the wild and need a semi-safe environment (e.g. they may have had limbs amputated, but can live successfully together and breed).
We are funded mainly by donations and fund-raising activities.
We also take every opportunity to educate the public about hedgehogs.
Approximately 300 hedgehogs annually are brought by the public and it costs on average £30 to rehabilitate each creature.
Hedgehogs eat a considerable amount, most need some medical treatment and many need veterinary attention.
Being chosen as recipients of the Jam Jar Army would help sustain our general running costs, enable us to purchase incubators for orphaned babies, heat pads for sick hogs and help pay for replacement cages.
The hedgehog has been voted Britain’s favourite wild mammal, but is at serious risk of extinction.
This funding would make a huge difference in our efforts to help this lovely creature in Northumberland.
ROTHBURY AND COQUETDALE YOUTH PROJECT
The aim of the project is to continue to provide rural young people with a sense of belonging in their community of Rothbury and upper Coquetdale and to provide them with increased access to five main key areas of need: Information; support; opportunities; experiences; and involvement.
Our main activities:
l Provide young people aged 12-25 years with a Rural Youth Hub situated in the town centre of Rothbury and a satellite hub based at Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School.
These are safe, modern, well-equipped and accessible places that give young people access to the main key areas of need as identified above.
These places embrace current youth culture, new technologies and up-to-date equipment to take advantage of the Rothbury area becoming one of the first rural places in the UK to get superfast rural broadband.
l Provide focused youth information and support sessions in the evenings and during the day, looking at issues such as employment, training, health and relationships.
We have a referral process for young people to access other local and non-local agencies and services.
l Offer young people specific experiences and opportunities which build confidence and also aim to give them a better perception of life.
sTEPHEN CAREY FUND
Stephen Carey was a young man of 21 who, due to an undiagnosed heart condition, collapsed and died while playing football for Alnmouth.
His friends and family gathered together in the following months and, having mulled over several ideas for memorials, decided that the best tribute to the memory of Stephen was to ensure that we improved the life-saving skills and facilities throughout the region with the aim of preventing such tragedies occurring wherever possible.
The Stephen Carey Fund was formed in late 2012 and officially launched in February 2013 and has since gone on to raise circa £40,000 through a variety of fund-raising events and from generous donations from local communities, organisations and individuals.
To date, the fund has installed three defibrillators (we hope to install three more in the coming weeks), organised first-aid training and provided free first-aid kits to numerous sporting clubs across the area.
Despite their early success, there is much more to do and the monies from the Jam Jar Army 2014 campaign would help secure necessary funds to successfully install more defibrillators and widen the offer of free first-aid training and equipment across the region.