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Durham Cathedral and County Durham Community Foundation exceed Comfort and Joy fundraising target

14 December 2020

Durham Cathedral and County Durham Community Foundation are delighted to announce that they have raised £2,386 through their joint #ComfortandJoy Christmas appeal, well exceeding the initial target set.

The appeal’s aim was to combat loneliness and share the warmth and friendship of the Christmas season with individuals and families whose lives have been affected by the Covid pandemic, by the giving and receiving of Christmas cards.

Michelle Cooper, CEO of County Durham Community Foundation said: “My thanks go to everyone who has supported the appeal. The support from the public has allowed us to send over 1,000 beautiful Christmas cards to members of the community, where they will hopefully bring some comfort and a smile to people in need. Ending the year with yet another show of generosity from our community has been both humbling and heart-warming. The work of the foundation to support people through this tough time is just beginning, and we are very grateful for this support.”

Claire Ritson, from Faith in Our Community North East, is one of the people responsible for the distribution of the cards. She has been packaging cards along with food parcels to go out to vulnerable members of the community in recent weeks. She said

“We have delivered bundles of cards across our communities in Durham and so far everyone loves them”.

The charity Cafe Together, based in Easington Colliery, who work with Faith in Our Community North East, have also been hard at work distributing the cards with the Christmas food hampers they’re making up for local residents who are isolated. 

Matthew Mills, Relationship & Development Manager at Durham Cathedral said: “At the end of such a challenging year, it has been a privilege to work on this appeal with County Durham Community Foundation and six amazing grassroots organisations. Over 1000 people, who may be more lonely than usual as a result of Covid-19, have now received a specially designed Christmas card, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Even though Christmas will be different this year, we sincerely hope that everyone in our communities, especially the most vulnerable, may still experience the comfort and joy of this holy season.”

The long-term legacy of #ComfortandJoy will be that Durham Cathedral and County Durham Community Foundation can support even more individuals and organisations responding to Covid-19.  The Christmas appeal may be over, but there's a long way to go in the recovery of the region.  To continue supporting the cathedral or the foundation, visit and