A Gateshead church served up free refreshments and handed out goodybags to Great North Run spectators as they cheered for runners along the route.
Gateshead Salvation Army Community Church parked up its area’s official Salvation Army emergency response vehicle in St James Road/Felling Bypass to support the event on Sunday 9 September that draws thousands of people into the Gateshead community. The Salvation Army emergency response vehicle is most often used to assist emergency services operations, with its team providing tea, coffee, and a listening ear when people need it most.
For example, the emergency response team has served at Carlisle and Morpeth after severe floods in recent years, as well as a recent gas explosion at a Sunderland residence.
The team handed out more than 300 bottles of water and cereal bars to spectators at the Great North Run, along with The Salvation Army’s War Cry publication and weekly children’s Christian comic Kids Alive! to entertain people while they waited to spot friends and family running the race. They also shared information about the local Gateshead church and invitations to its activities.
Salvation Army church leader Major Mark Dooley said:
“For years we had been holding our regular church services, while hundreds of people gathered for this pivotal event less than a mile from our building, so we decided to take the church onto the street and offer visitors a warm welcome, refreshments and an opportunity to pop across and have a chat.
“It’s been a great way to support our community and it was also a real encouragement to us when a family saw what we were doing and their young children asked if they could give some of the money they were raising for charity to us. We’re looking forward to taking part again next year!”