Shilbottle church holds Gift Day to raise funds for mental health projects

Parishioners at a Shilbottle church have shown their support for two mental health projects.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 30th July 2021, 9:00 am

St James Church held its second annual Gift Day on Saturday in the church grounds – a welcome chance for parishioners to get together after the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We decided to hold a Gift Day on the occasion of our Patronal Festival (the feast of St James) because Covid restrictions had limited our ability to meet together socially and for fundraising events,” said Rev Helen O’Sullivan, Vicar of Acklington, Shilbottle and Warkworth.

“The response of parishioners has been so rewarding and proof of their generosity of spirit.”

Rev Helen O'Sullivan and parishioners during the Gift Day at St James' Church in Shilbottle. Photograph by Jane Coltman

The proceeds of the 2021 Gift Day will be shared equally between the Friends of St James’ Church and local good causes.

Church treasurer, Philip Angier, said: “We are hoping that when all of the proceeds are counted our Gift Day total will be more than £2,500, which would be a fantastic fillip both to our own church funds and to the two mental health projects we have chosen to support this year - Alnwick-based [email protected] and Cygnus Support in Ashington.”

Alongside the individual gifts of church members, the Gift Day programme included a cake and produce stall and a virtual raffle.

Chair of the Friends Scheme, Vivien Gough added: “Thanks to the good weather we were able to set up our produce stall in the churchyard. After a long period of lockdown it’s so nice to be out and about meeting with the community again. I must add my thanks to all of our bakers and enthusiastic customers.”

Hannah Moeini, manager of [email protected], said: “Our project supports young people who fall beneath the current threshold to access mainstream mental health services.

"With hubs at the High School and Alnwick Community Centre the project has reached and supported more than 80 clients in the last year. We are very pleased that St. James has chosen our project to benefit from their 2021 Gift Day. Their support will make a big difference.”

Cygnus Support provides mental health and well-being services to people in Northumberland including counselling, psychotherapy, education and training with hubs in Hexham, Berwick, Alnwick and Blyth.

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