Monday, 11 February 2019

Barnet



Here is the latest report from Barnet:

A Place of Change

For over 20 years Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB) has been tackling the issues connected with homelessness and those who are ‘vulnerably housed’ in the London Borough of Barnet.  Situated to the north of London, within the M25 circle, Barnet is the fourth largest London Borough, covering 33 square miles, with approximately 393,000 inhabitants - the biggest LB by population. 

A study from Shelter in November 2017 ranked Barnet as having the 17th highest number of homeless people in the UK:  one in 55 people were recorded as being homeless in the borough, with 22 sleeping rough and 7,011 living in temporary accommodation.
Barnet Council’s Homeless and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2024 states: ‘The impact of homelessness is broad and far reaching. It is clear that preventing homelessness has obvious benefits not only for people’s housing outcomes, but for reducing health inequalities and improving quality of life.’

HAB Centre’s team of 12 staff are assisted by volunteers to assist about 60-70 clients per day who visit HAB’s drop-in centre which is open weekdays.  By the front door a banner reads ‘A Place of Change’.  Food, clothing, healthcare, counselling, advocacy, showers, laundry, winter night shelter and assistance with applications for benefits, housing, job training etc are some of the aspects within HAB’s remit. The running costs of this vital, life-changing charity are met by grants and donations, amounting to thousands of pounds. 

HAB is one of the main local charities supported by Barnet Ecclesia, more especially as we are experiencing at first hand, those who are interested in Christianity and have escaped life-threatening regimes to seek asylum in Britain, but with no place to call home here. 
We are pleased to support COG in their outreach efforts and our mission to be a place of welcome for anyone who wants to know more about the Gospel message.  COG’s sleeping bag appeal of 2017 was well received by HAB who were delighted to hear of the rucksacs and knitted hats campaign planned for winter 2018/19. 

Just before Christmas COG provided Barnet Ecclesia with 20 rucksacs and we supplemented each bag with a hand-knitted hat, a copy of ‘The Bible, The Lord Jesus & You’ booklet, a tiny book-light torch plus a bar of Kendal Mint Cake.  These were happily received by HAB as much as they were happily delivered by us.



Saturday, 2 February 2019

Tamworth

Here is a report from Tamworth:


Tamworth Christadelphian Church (TCC) had their “bags of love” filling Sunday 20 January
They had chosen a local charity called Starfish whose moto is “Sharing the love of Christ with those wounded by life’s challenges”
The journey began by contacting the project and then meeting with them to tell them the idea of COG to provide bags of love to those in need in our community
The project leader thought this was a great idea and suggested maybe we could do it in the winter when the local churches all come together to provide food and shelter for the homeless
Each church takes a night and the clients can go and have a meal and sleep at the church and have breakfast and then the next day it is a different church’s turn. That’s 7 churches 7 days a week for 3 months!!
TCC decided that they would purchase the bags of love that COG had suggested to use them for the clients in need here
2 collections were taken at Tamworth – 1 to buy the bags from donations to COG and then a collection to purchase the goodies to fill the bags
The money was sent to COG and 10 Rucksacks were delivered ready for filling
The Starfish project gave us the ideas of what to fill the bags with:
Golves, hat, scarf, socks, wet wipes, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, shower gel, shampoo, razors, brunch bar, flannel and first aid kit
How it works is that each church takes a specific night where the clients can go and have a meal and sleep at the church and have breakfast the following morning. The next evening it is a different church’s turn.
All were involved from the young to the old either with purchasing the goodies or filling the ruck sacks or delivering them.  The Bags of Love were delivered the following week to the church looking after the clients for that night and were greatly appreciated
“To God be the Glory, Great things he has done, so loved he the world that he gave us his son”
Thank you COG for coming up with the idea of the bags of love. It’s a great way for us to be a practical witness in the communities we live in.






Monday, 28 January 2019

Wigan

Report from Wigan Christadelphians:

Our chosen charity for the rucksack promotion went to a very grateful group called SWAP (Support for Wigan Arrivals Project). We know them through visitors we have had and have benefitted from their advice.

Established in 2005 as an offshoot from an existing charity by the help of lottery funding they are somewhat pioneers in this area with a growing national reputation. They are all about helping in a practical manner both in terms of giving advice and assisting in the integration of asylum seekers within the community.  They work closely with the local council and other organisations.

They comprise 4 staff and around 120 volunteers primarily based in Wigan where, amongst other things, they provide regular courses for ESOL ( English for Speakers of Other Languages), English Conversation Classes and an Advanced Debate Group on specific days throughout the week. It includes women only classes and as might be expected deals with a variety of nationalities. It recently expanded some of its activities to the nearby town of Tyldesely.

SWAP were a natural choice for the COG backpack appeal and gave advice on what foodstuffs to provide. For those not regularly involved in a daily food budget it was surprising to learn what could be obtained for £7.00 per backpack. Wigan Ecclesia were grateful to COG for also providing the finance for the food which allowed the ecclesia to maintain its existing support for others.

20 or 40 packs of anything multiplied soon fills, in our case, two big shopping trolleys and can be a bit of a challenge at checkout but our local Aldi checkout girl trusted our declaration of quantities and shopping was complete. Backpacks had arrived beforehand without incident.

From car boot to living room and a mini production line then  on to delivery. 

But how do you distribute 20 filled backpacks to 22!  Simple, you have a competition at the Christmas Party based on that well known game of ‘pin the nose on the reindeer’! Clearly a festive alternative to ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. Then again the donkey was very much part of the first Christmas! Anyway it was a success and certainly no poor losers.

A few pictures are attached from the SWAP Christmas Party and delivery.






Thursday, 10 January 2019

Monday, 7 January 2019

Nottingham

Report from Nottingham:

Jarvis Avenue Christadelphians support our local charity in Nottingham - Emmanuel House Support Centre in a variety of different ways, via regular collections, food at Harvest thanksgiving time and in early November we delivered 20 rucksacks to be allocated to the homeless in Nottingham.

Emmanuel House were specific at the time of delivery of these rucksacks for what type of further help they required, so prior to this we had an appeal at Jarvis Avenue for warm winter clothing and mens underwear, so on the day we delivered the rucksacks we were able to deliver a section of clothing as you can see in the attached photo of myself delivering to a member of staff at Emmanuel House back in November.


Worcester

Report from Worcester:


A great day was had by all those who took part filling the 20 rucksacks provided by COG. The whole ecclesia, and many of our friends, were involved, either providing the items requested, or helping to pack.




Each rucksack was filled with thermal gloves, thermal hat, thick socks, pants,an emergency (space) blanket, hand warmer packets, wet wipes, moisturiser, deodorant, shower gel, hand sanitiser, toothbrush, toothpaste, a microfibres washcloth, a hairbrush, pens, a notebook, individual tissue packs, a wind-up torch, a thermos flask, and bars of chocolate/sweets. A card was also included with a quote from Proverbs 3:5, along with the love of the ecclesia.

We were also able to provide some food vouchers and other items for our local homeless charity, Maggs Day Centre, who have agreed to distribute all 20 rucksacks to Worcester’s homeless. They are desperate for rucksacks and flasks, and so one of our youngsters, Ed Isaacs, is continuing to raise funds to provide more flasks.

We feel very blessed to have been involved in this, and to share our Father’s love in such a practical way. Thank you to COG, and all those who contributed to the funding of the rucksacks. 




Cleethorpes

A note from Cleethorpes:


I just wanted to let you know how much our local homeless charity appreciated the rucksacks. They were thrilled, not just with the ones which we filled, but also with the extra ten. The rucksacks have been such a success, and directly helping those living on the streets.

Thank you.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Chesterfield






Well done Chesterfield! :

This group are really working hard on their link with a local homeless shelter and planning more help in the future by opening up their ecclesial hall for music sessions and funding several projects run by the shelter such as breakfasts, literacy, vegetable growing and more. Here is part of Karens report: 

Sian was delighted about the suggestion of donating rucksacks to their clients as they often have all their possessions in a bin liner.  She gave me a list of useful items to put in them and I ordered 20 sacks from COG. These were filled with woolly hats (knitted by our members and friends), gloves, socks, thermos flasks, snack bars, toiletry bags with; shampoo/shower gel, toothpaste and brush, flannel, brush/comb and deodorant. Two supermarkets donating gift vouchers of £10 each and Sainsburys donating two thermos flasks plus around 10 shower gels.The rucksacks were delivered to Pathways on the 14 December and a surplus of shampoo/shower gels and woolly hats were taken to Grace Chapel in the Market Square where homeless people are able to take a shower.

Why not follow their example and approach your local shelter and ask the simple question ( one used by Jesus himself) - "HOW CAN WE HELP?" Local churches amd street teams are crucial to the homeless and there is great opportunities to help, especially during the colder months when their lives are particularly hard.I volunteer on a street team and the resource we need is people to call on for sandwiches and home baked cake to take out- why not hold a baking day at the hall and donate to your local homeless?



Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Blackburn

Message from Blackburn Christadelphians:

Photo of us handing 10 semi filled rucksacks over to Blackburn Community Spirit.


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Oxford

A report from the Oxford Christadelphians:

Please find attached a photo of our recent delivery of the 20 bags to a local homeless charity in Oxford called The Porch.

They really appreciated the bags and said they would make sure the right people receive them!