I had a great experience today doing a delivery run around Newcastle with Norman and Dean who are volunteers for FareShare North East. We visited charities in Newcastle, Newton Aycliffe, Darlington and Ferryhill and up into the lower reaches of Weardale. We met some of the most amazing people doing the most amazing things for people in difficult environments. One of the great joys of this job is to be able to actually hand over the Country Casserole to the people that need it and to talk to them about what they are up to and what they need.
One of the charities we visited was the Newton Aycliffe Junior Neighbourhood Watch where children up to 16 years old help older people with their shopping or jobs around the house in the school holidays and at weekends. The charity also organises intergenerational activities, for example: children are taught how to knit, read and play old fashioned games. The children teach the older people how to use a mobile phone, a computer and the internet. I spent too short a time talking to the organiser Dorothy Bowman and have promised to be back in touch with her to see what else we can do to help the inspirational team there.
Many thanks to Michael Shields the General Manager at FareShare Northeast for giving me so much of his time and for allowing me to help out on the run. Thank you again to Norman and Dean for taking me around and for helping me to understand something of their home area and for explaining the difference between Geordies, Mackems and Smoggies and the local football teams, you could not have been more friendly and informative.