This is the last of our monthly flyers in our awareness campaign. If you would like to receive the flyers in the post please just contact us and we would be happy to send.
Wednesday, 31 July 2019
Friday, 10 May 2019
Latest report from Hereford:
“I wanted to thank you and COG for the rucksacks and contents (flask, torch, lunchbox, hat and gloves, chocolate )
These were donated to Hereford Open Door for redistribution to homeless men and women in Hereford. They proved extremely popular. Walking through High Town and meeting our guests at the breakfast sessions, the red rucksacks are very much on view. They are just the right size for day use although I have seen a couple with sleeping bag strapped underneath and one person, has your rucksack strapped to a larger bag carrying his worldly goods. The torches were extremely popular because of their quality and, of course, the dark nights.
One of our long-time homeless guests had a very tatty rucksack (holes & broken zips) and I had some difficulty convincing him to let me replace it...... He wears it proudly now.
Please pass on our thanks and gratitude to COG and everyone who helped put together the donation. It was extremely thoughtful and very generous.
With our very best wishes
Hereford Open Door”
Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Tuesday, 9 April 2019
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Monday, 11 February 2019
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
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
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.