Donations sought as service aims to buy a new vehicle

The Mighty Oaks trailer that is being used for the free hot drinks service in Morpeth every Saturday night.
The Mighty Oaks trailer that is being used for the free hot drinks service in Morpeth every Saturday night.
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A friendly service for people out on a Saturday night in Morpeth has launched a fund-raising appeal for a new vehicle.

Free hot drinks are provided by a group of volunteers to those letting their hair down and workers between 11pm and 1am.

The Mighty Oaks trailer first appeared in the Market Place in May 2007. It was then operated by a small group of Christians from one church and now there is a large team of volunteers and supporters who are from many churches in the area.

They do not preach about their beliefs, but those who receive the free drinks have the opportunity to discuss things going on in their life with the team if they so wish.

Despite improvements and a respray, the trailer is becoming quite rusty and difficult to keep rainproof, so the volunteers are asking for the public’s support in raising about £10,000 for a new customised vehicle that would have an added benefit for the team

One of the founder members, Rachael Sligo, said: “It has got to the point where it would be counter-productive to keep putting money into the upkeep of the trailer and we would like to replace it with a fitted vehicle that can be driven rather than towed.

“We only have three volunteers with a tow bar at present and as well as enabling more people to help with transportation, the vehicle would give us storage for all the equipment.

“This includes blankets as we come across people from time to time who are sleeping rough in Morpeth town centre.

“We didn’t really see any other way of bringing in the money and we’re spreading the word about the appeal with our regulars, on social media and on posters that we’ve handed out to the businesses that are open on a Saturday night.”

“We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received so far,” she added.

Morpeth members helped to set-up similar groups in Alnwick and Low Fell, Gateshead, and one of the original members launched a Mighty Oaks in Colorado when they moved to the USA.

To make a donation, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/new-mighty-oaks-van