Harrogate churches celebrate changing the lives of 1,000 children living in poverty around the world
The lives of 1,000 vulnerable children are being changed thanks to the support of people from across the HG postcode. The HG1000 campaign has seen churches, schools and businesses from across the HG postcode come together over the past five years to support child development charity Compassion UK, by sponsoring 1,000 children who are living in poverty in developing countries and giving a further 1,000 families access to safe water.
The ambitious target of delivering 1,000 child sponsorships from the Harrogate area was launched five years ago by Compassion-supporter Guy Donegan-Cross, vicar of St Mark’s, who has sponsored a child for nearly three years. Having witnessed the difference that sponsorship makes during a trip to Ghana, Guy wanted to set a challenge for not just his church, but the whole community that falls within the HG postcode, including the towns of Ripon, Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge. This area is the first in the UK to achieve such a high number of child sponsorships.
Guy Donegan-Cross commented: ““It’s wonderful to see the HG1000 target met! When we had the opportunity to meet some Compassion sponsored children in Ghana it was a joy to see how they were being given hope through the love and commitment of people on the ground Compassion’s model of working with local partners means the support is truly personal and context-sensitive. This has been such a great project, with support stretching from across the whole community, with lots of people being able to get involved.”
The HG1000 campaign has changed the lives of 1,000 children from across 25 countries, in some of the poorest communities around the world. Their sponsorship means that these children will now be given an education, medical care, social support and taught about Jesus’ love for them. The 1,000th child to be sponsored was 9 year old Francois from Togo, West Africa who was sponsored by a family from Hope Church in Harrogate.
Clare Nelson, Regional Manager for Compassion UK said: “We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of people in the Harrogate area. It’s a huge achievement and we haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else in the UK. What people here have done through the HG1000 campaign is a great example of what can be achieved when churches work together, alongside local schools and businesses, towards a common goal. It’s been a privilege to witness this and to be a part of it.”
Compassion UK is an international child development charity with more than 60 years’ experience of working with some of the world’s poorest children. At present nearly 2 million children attend Compassion’s church-based projects in 25 of the world’s poorest countries.
Child sponsorship through Compassion of £25 a month is enabling thousands of children like Francois and the other 999 children sponsored by the HG1000 initiative to have a different future. It enables children to be part of their local Compassion project at their local church where they will receive nutritious meals, emotional and spiritual support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education. However, there are still thousands more who need support so they too can realise their dreams for the future. For more information on how you can help visit www.compassionuk.org.