Causes & partnerships


Roger Salameh - Coordinating support for communities in Bethlehem

Families in Bethlehem, already greatly challenged by the occupation, still face the devastating effects of the pandemic and escalating conflict. Bethlehem was deserted over many months of lockdown. Roger Salameh who lives with his family in Bethlehem gives support and advice at the Franciscan Youth Group in his Parish. Roger explains, “In Bethlehem, the cradle of Christianity, the poorest city in Palestine, poverty and unemployment are increasing. There is no government unemployment support. He has identified ways we can directly help the community in Bethlehem and has kindly offered to coordinate this support.:

· Provision of food baskets for local needy and vulnerable families, coordinating this with the parish priest.

· Helping supply medicine to the elderly.

· Cultural and social events for the young people of the church.

Visiting elderly women at one of the charity organisations in Bethlehem, taking them gifts.

Francis Hannaway, originally from Middlesbrough, is resident in Basankusu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2014, he set up a treatment centre for malnourished children and now manages the centre, with a team of 12 local volunteers, mainly feeding very sick children, but in more severe cases, also paying for necessary hospital treatments.

When we began supporting this centre in July 2021, Francis told us, ‘We currently have 42 children; 15 are severe cases and have 3 meals at our centre, 7 days a week. The others would still be in a life-threatening condition without our intervention, and we have helped more than 4,000 children back to good health since we started. We’ve also taken on a few surgical operations though it’s not really within our remit – yet sometimes it’s difficult to refuse. There are photos and videos on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and my blog on Google Blogger, showing what we do.’


As part of the ‘Feast of Fun’ partnership we offer holiday activities with healthy food for children and their families facing challenges without sufficient resources, during the School Holiday periods. During the Covid Pandemic the needs of local families have increased, and regular food and activity packs are being delivered to the families at home throughout the year, also supported by the Parish and the SVP. We will resume holiday activities and a hot meal as well as day trips from the Cathedral as soon as possible.

Middlesbrough Catholic Fellowship is a voluntary non-denominational group offering social support and friendship to members who have varying degrees of disability. Members are able to socialise with friends and volunteer carers who offer support. Regular activities include social groups, a monthly mass celebrating the Eucharist in different Parishes across the diocese, and an annual residential holiday.

The ethos of the organization is that nobody in our community should have to face going hungry. The foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people in crisis who are referred for help.

Music for the Mind is an hour of fun and music for people living with dementia, their friends and carers. Trish McLean is providing an hour of music and fun each Wednesday at 11am accessed HERE .

Dementia Friendly services including a carol service are held at the Cathedral led by Mgr. Gerard.

Interplast (affiliated to ReSurge) is an international organization of Plastic Surgeons and associated professionals who provide free reconstructive surgery for underprivileged patients in the developing world.

Action by Christians Against Torture, Acat(UK), was formed in 1984 by the then British Council of Churches, with the active support of Amnesty International and Society of Friends, to raise awareness of the widespread use of torture and to work as Christians, for the abolition of torture worldwide by campaigning and prayer.

MAP offers welcome, practical support and social opportunities to those seeking asylum in Middlesbrough, and to refugees. We support their work by donating food, clothes and household goods and organizing walks and day trips combined with a hot meal for groups of refugees locally.