A quarter of the children in this region, numbering a staggering 132,000, live below the official poverty line; for this reason, the charity, Children North East’s work is as vital now as it was when it was first established in 1891.
As a result independent financial advisor and employee benefit company Blackett Walker Limited and sister company niche medical accountants BW Medical Accountants Limited, both based in Gosforth, have thrown their support behind the Giving Tree Appeal 2014 run by the charity. The appeal specifically targets children and young people in deprived circumstances at Christmas and encourages people or businesses to donate much needed toys, food parcels, day trips and cash.
Carol Taylor senior fundraiser for Children North East said: “We are delighted that organisations such as Blackett Walker and BW Medical Accountants have shown their support for our Giving Tree Appeal 2014 particularly when last year we were able to redistribute over 8,000 toys and gifts.
“These gifts and food will help alleviate some of the misery and brighten Christmas for some of the region’s most disadvantaged families.
“Whilst there are signs of economic recovery for some, many families in this region have never had it as tough resulting in an inevitable strain on family life. The region experiences the highest rates of youth unemployment in the country meaning many do not have access to the opportunities we take for granted.
“We are always looking for support from the business community as well as from individuals who can offer sustainable commitment to our many local projects. These include a Newcastle-based drop in centre and training for our 200 strong volunteer army in the knowledge that their support has a direct impact on families locally.”
Blackett Walker and BW Medical have put £400 toward food boxes that will go to families in this region that desperately need help and 100 gift selection boxes are also being donated to children who the charity support.
Richard Blackett co-founder of Blackett Walker said: “We are very proud of this region and we like to get involved in charitable work that makes a difference to the people of the North East and the Giving Tree Appeal 2014 which focuses on children and families locally is an ideal choice.
“The staff of both our businesses have shown real commitment to this appeal with many contributing more than one Christmas gift for the children and being very generous with their time in support of this appeal and the many other events we have held as part of our charity work over the course of 2014.”
Carol Taylor said: “Areas of Newcastle and other parts of the North East suffer from very high levels of depravation, in some cases more than double the national average. As a result we are always looking to develop projects that address issues associated with deprived
families; those that don’t have a living wage or who find themselves homeless or compromised in other ways through illness or unemployment.
“We can find temporary accommodation, offer peer to peer support by training young volunteers who can reach out more effectively to those of a similar age and we link in with other charities, organisations, health and social care professionals to ensure the most vulnerable do not get over looked and receive the best possible help.”
In addition Blackett Walker and BW Medical staff have raised £4,500 for Meningitis NOW their chosen charity for 2014. Cash was raised following a series of events including dress down days, an Elvis Night, party cruise on the Tyne and other creative initiatives during the course of the year. Meningitis NOW(http://www.meningitisnow.org/) was selected after Jack a member of staff’s son survived a close call with the illness when a symptom - a high temperature - helped pin point diagnosis early and played a key role in his survival.