Durham Cathedral and County Durham Community Foundation have launched ‘Comfort and Joy’ – a joint Christmas appeal giving members of the public an opportunity to reach out to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the problem of social isolation is now more acute than ever.  The aim of this appeal is to share the warmth and friendship of the Christmas season with individuals and families whose lives have been affected.

Durham Cathedral

From 4th November 2020, for as little as £7 or £10, it will be possible to send a specially-designed Christmas card, featuring the Cathedral and signed by the Dean, to a stranger or a loved one who may be feeling more isolated than usual.

Proceeds of the appeal will be shared between the two partner organisations, enabling them to continue supporting people across the region during the coming second period of coronavirus restrictions, and beyond.

Families in need

Cards will be delivered, on behalf of the appeal, by six local charities already making a difference in their communities: PACT House, Women Today NE, Faith in Our Communities, Lifeline Community Action, Handcrafted Projects, and Just for Women.

These charities dedicate their time to caring for at-risk and isolated people in the North East, including low-income families, the homeless, and those with mental health conditions.

Community Foundation

Michelle Cooper, CEO of the Foundation, said: “This year has been hard on people; especially those close to the breadline, so we want to bring a moment of happiness to someone who might benefit from a reminder that people really do care. Funds raised for the Foundation will go towards our Covid-19 Recovery Fund – helping communities to rebuild in the months ahead. It’s wonderful to be doing all of this in conjunction with Durham’s biggest heritage building – which symbolises hope for so many people.”

Gaye Kirby, Head of Development and Strategy at the Cathedral, said: “We have hugely admired the work of County Durham Community Foundation during the current pandemic and are delighted to be joining together with them for our ‘Comfort and Joy’ Christmas appeal. At a time when we are less able to be together in person, finding ways to stay connected and reach out to those who may be more isolated is so important.  Donating to the appeal will not only support both the Cathedral and the Foundation, it will also make a valuable connection with those most vulnerable in our region.”

For more information or to make a donation to the ‘Comfort and Joy’ appeal, visit https://localgiving.org/charity/durhamcathedral/project/Comfort-and-Joy/.