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The shop front of Search on Adelaide Terrace

Search is one of the oldest voluntary projects in the West of Newcastle, set up in the mid 1970’s to help the welfare of local pensioners.

It was originally a single-worker project offering advice to callers and visits to the housebound. Clients came from word of mouth not Social Services. It has a long history of being part of the neighbourhood on Adelaide Terrace. Working together with local residents and neighbourhood groups to make Benwell and then the whole of the west a better place to live.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s and in spite of increased deprivation local people remained proud of their area and committed to making their community a good place to live. These were challenging times and annual reports by Search note these difficulties and how many people stuck together to try and make things better. The west end has always had a tremendous community spirit which has stood Search in good stead.    

By 2000 Search was a well-established and trusted organisation. It worked in partnership with other groups and some of these relationships are still going strong today, providing much needed resources for older people.

Reading Search’s annual reports over this period to the current day it is surprising that the core of the work remains the same; advice and information and good access to social networks through leisure and learning opportunities. Times change but maybe people stay the same.

Search has always had a history of independently evaluating its work and involving local older people in running the organisation and deciding on its direction. This is one of its great strengths. Search belongs to the community and the work it does gives all the people connected with it a great sense of belonging to the community. Long may it last.