Our Gateshead

Generations unite to create commemorative crosses for WWI Garden of Remembrance

Cadets pay their repsects at a cemetery

Local cadets from Norton TA Centre and members of ​the Stockton ​branch of the Royal ​British Legion commemorated those servicemen of Stockton who made the ultimate sacrifice in the first year of World War I at a Garden of Remembrance last weekend.

The cadets and ​members of the ​Stockton ​branch of the Royal ​British Legio​n​ prepared remembrance crosses which were planted in memory of those lost in the first year of World War I between August 1914 and August 1915. This activity formed part of their Wellbeing Challenge project, run by Gateshead based charity Youth Focus: North East, which looks to raise the profile of mental wellbeing in local communities.

The crosses prepared by the group formed part of the display curated for last Friday’s Garden of Remembrance event which was attended by the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Barbara Inman, accompanied by her Chaplain, the Rev Alan Farish, as well as councillors, the Royal British Legion Chairman and Parade Marshal Mr Ian Bannister, standards of the British Legion and other ex-service organisations and the Salvation Army Bugler.

The Wellbeing Challenge group also visited Durham Road and Oxbridge Road cemetery on Saturday. The cadets and members of the ​Royal ​British Legion placed crosses on the graves of those who died from injury in World War I.

Hannah Shaw, Development Worker at Youth Focus: North East, said: “The young people have been so enthusiastic about the project and took great care in completing the crosses that were placed in the Garden of Remembrance. I think it's been fantastic for the cadets and everyone involved to be part of a project that remembers those who lost their lives fighting for their country. The members of the Royal​ British Legion really enjoyed working on this project with the young people and both groups found the experience rewarding.”

The Wellbeing Challenge Day project - part of the Big Lottery Funded Wellbeing in the East: Building Resilience in the East programme being delivered by Enable East - promotes awareness of mental health among young people, local communities and military veterans using the ‘five-a-day for wellbeing’ self-help tool.

Evidence suggests there are five steps to improving our mental wellbeing, including: be active, keep learning, connect, give to others and take notice. Through the Wellbeing Challenge Days, local people are given the opportunity to plan and develop an initiative, event, activity or campaign incorporating one or more of these categories from the self-help tool. The cadets and veterans decided to focus on ‘giving to others’ for their Challenge.

Youth Focus: North East is an award-winning charity that works across the North East to improve the lives of young people. It delivers a number of youth-led programmes encompassing health, youth employment, education and the arts, and intergenerational work. 

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