December 2023 – Before planning your visit, please check our ‘Visitor Notices’ for accessibility updates and one-off changes to opening times. Click here to view.
A BEACON OF LIGHT
Christmas Eve Meal Appeal 2023 – Changing Lives
Friday 3 November 2023
This Christmas Eve, Café 16 in Newcastle Cathedral will open its doors to Changing Lives, a remarkable charity dedicated to supporting our local community. Their fantastic team will be on hand to serve a hot meal to those for whom Christmas brings challenges, and spreading some festive joy, too.
Changing Lives began as a soup kitchen in 1970 and has grown into a nationwide charity helping people facing the most challenging circumstances make positive change – for good. They support people who are experiencing homelessness, unemployment, in recovery or facing abuse or exploitation, helping them go on to live happy, independent, fulfilling lives.
Café 16 opened in Newcastle Cathedral in the summer of 2021, following the Cathedral’s redevelopment supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The café is staffed by a team of prison leavers, led, trained, and mentored by the Oswin Project – offering the chance to learn new skills and find a new direction on release.
With rough sleeping increasing by 26% in 2022 and a surge in the cost of living, Changing Lives has seen a growing demand for support. Many vulnerable individuals have been deeply affected by poverty and disadvantage. In 2022, over 80% of their services witnessed a rise in people struggling to make ends meet, with food poverty becoming more common.
Changing Lives and Newcastle Cathedral have collaborated several times already as part of the Cathedral’s Lantern Initiative, which, inspired by the building’s Lantern Tower, aims to be a beacon for people navigating challenging circumstances in life.
This festive season, instead of buying that festive coffee or sending out Christmas cards, consider donating £5 to the Changing Lives campaign. Should the fundraising total more than is needed on the day, the funds will provide:
- An essential food parcel.
- A toiletry pack for anyone accessing their services.
There is also an option to make a small monthly donation to help support people who need it all year round.
This initiative is run by Changing Lives and is supported by Newcastle Cathedral and the Oswin Project. Donations are managed via the North East Offers website.