Successful start for project is celebrated

Father Chris Hughes, right, with Ian Lavery MP and some of the volunteers at the St Bede's open house in Bedlington.
Father Chris Hughes, right, with Ian Lavery MP and some of the volunteers at the St Bede's open house in Bedlington.

A LOCAL MP was the guest of honour at a community event.

St Bede’s Catholic Church in Bedlington invited volunteers and guests from its Open House project to spend an evening celebrating six successful months since its formation.

Father Chris Hughes hosted the event while Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery was among more than 30 guests and volunteers.

In conjunction with local charity St Cuthberts Care, St Bede’s Open House is run entirely by volunteers who give up their time every Tuesday.

Quizzes, bingo and refreshments are on offer to people from the local community who are elderly, lonely or isolated.

Father Hughes described Open House as “a place where friendships are created and sustained”.

During the evening of celebration, regular Open House guest Jean Hedley thanked the volunteers.

“I am sure that I speak for everyone here when I say we have all enjoyed every single night of St Bede’s Open House,” she said.

The Open House is one of nine projects set up under St Cuthberts Care’s Parish and Community Enablement (PACE) scheme.

PACE looks to equip volunteers with the skills needed to help and support some of the most vulnerable people in the region.

Community development manager Kathleen Urwin said: “As soon as you walk into St Bede’s Open House, you can feel the warmth of a renewed community spirit.

“People are there for each other, supporting and caring, which is certainly something everyone felt was worthy of celebration.”

Open House is held every Tuesday between 6pm and 8pm, it costs £2 per person and for more information contact (01670) 823258.