What We Do
Established in 1891, Children North East has been working for 125 years to improve the lives of children and their families. Originally known as the Poor Children’s Holiday Association, our purpose was to offer support to poor children who lived in Newcastle and Gateshead to give them a ‘hand up, not a hand out’, an ethos we continue to pursue.
Our founders – John H. Watson, a clerk and Mission Worker,and John T. Lunn, a Quayside merchant – talked about the welfare of poor children in Newcastle in the 1880s. In 1891, Lunn wrote to Watson, making a suggestion on how to help:
“If there is anyone in your district convalescent or feeble to whom a fortnight’s stay at the seaside would be of benefit, I shall be glad to pay for their lodgings, and, if necessary, their board as well. Are there any street lads in your Mission to whom a day at the seaside would be a treat? If so, we might organise a trip”.
Yours truly, (Signed) John T. Lunn
Following this letter in July 1891, 120 children from inner city Newcastle and Gateshead set sail on a River Steamer boat to the clean air of the North East coast for a day trip. It was a once in a lifetime experience, changing their lives in so many ways.
Now known as Children North East we have grown to support many thousands more children throughout the decades, through a range of services, in response to the poverty and disadvantage children are facing in the north east.