StreetWise The magazine for supporters of
East Bristol Foodbank
â€œVolunteering at the Foodbank is like giving people a great Christmas every Friday and I love it!â€?
Sprucing the Goose
exciting announcement inside!
Contents 1 News in brief
12 Sprucing the Goose
2 East Bristol Foodbank at Fishponds Baptist
13 Corporate support: Burges Salmon
6 Help beyond emergency food
15 Upcoming events
10 Welcome to our new chef – Lee
16 A Lent reflection
14 Vision for the Vulnerable
Editorial We’re in a very busy season here at inHope with re-branding and spreading the word about our new name, holding a Launch Day with a Rededication Service in February, and finally refurbishing/ Sprucing the Wild Goose in March. But amongst all the changes, our determination to support the most vulnerable people in Bristol remains our constant and ever-pressing goal, as you can read in the stories of Ruth and Clea who are part of our Foodbank team.
With all the busyness and demands, I am reminded of Jesus’ words, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ Jesus knows our human frailties and says the answer to rest and peace is found in him. I’m also reminded of Paul’s words, ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.’ These words are meaningful for inHope as a charity during this busy time, but our real prayer is that the people we serve will find peace, hope and love, and somewhere to rest their burdens. inHope offers food, shelter, hope and support, but it’s Jesus who has the power to transform lives. Sarah Luckwell Editor
About us We are a Christian charity that has been working in Bristol for 35 years. We are there for those who need us most; those who are the most vulnerable and marginalised in society. As well as alleviating people’s emergency crises, our aim is to help people achieve healthy and independent lives. We offer food, shelter, hope and support through our four projects: The Wild Goose Drop-in Centre, Spring of Hope Women’s Night Shelter, Life Recovery and East Bristol Foodbank.
Contact us 32 Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0QY T. 0117 330 1230 firstname.lastname@example.org www.inhope.uk Company No. 2214814 Registered Charity No. 298528 Cover image: Ruth at East Bristol Foodbank in Fishponds Baptist.
News in brief Spring of Hope women’s night shelter
Bristol City Council On 30th January, it was announced that Bristol has received £2.8 million from central government funding to help reduce homelessness. ‘Around a £1million of the funding will be used to run two year round shelters – one of which could be at St Anne’s House, which is currently being used as a shelter during the winter months.’ Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Ultimately we know that the only way to truly end homelessness is provide enough affordable housing and make the welfare system work better for people who are homeless, but these additional services will allow us to make a real difference while we work towards our long term goals.” In line with the challenge nationally, Bristol has seen an increase of people sleeping rough over the past five years and the last quarterly counts have found an average of 117 sleeping rough on the street.’ The full announcement can be found here: https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/bristolreceives-government-funding-to-help-reducehomelessness.
Spring of Hope is looking for people during the day to help deliver daytime services (women volunteers only), weekly housekeeping and/ or sort through donations please. If this is you, Alice (Spring of Hope Deputy Manager) would love to have a chat with you: 07817 881350/ 0117 4057 email@example.com Spring of Hope is open 6 nights a week and each night a Duty Manager (volunteer or staff) and a volunteer has to be available for the shelter to be able to open. Val (Spring of Hope Manager) would love to hear from any Christian women who would like to talk about volunteering. Having a chat with Val doesn’t commit you and you could try a night shift without pressure of joining the volunteer team. Give Val a call on 07990 715691/ 0117 4057 121. 1
Fishponds Baptist Church hosts one of our three East Bristol Foodbank outlets. They open every Friday from 12:30pm–2:30pm with a warm and non-judgemental welcome to those who need emergency food parcels. One Friday, I went to visit and spoke with the manager Ruth, who is on the front cover, and some of the other volunteers to find out more. How long have you been involved in the Foodbank here?
When I first started as manager I was contacted by Andy Irwin, who manages the East Bristol Foodbank outlets, who said that Aldi in Fishponds wanted to give away fresh food. I immediately said yes, so we then had fresh food available for clients, alongside the ambient food.”
“I’ve been involved as a volunteer right from the start in 2016. I absolutely loved it and volunteered every other week. In January 2019, they wanted me to take over as the manager because the Minister, Richard, wanted to focus on other projects, such as the Hope 43 housing project.”
Do you still have that connection with Aldi? “Yes, and with Co-op as well, who also give us their fresh food. Co-op have been outstanding with what they’re willing to do for us. They collect ambient food in store. They do fancy dress days to raise money for us. Nothing is too much to ask and if they can do it, they will. We go to Co-op on a Thursday night and Aldi on a Friday morning to collect the fresh food ready for the session in the afternoon.”
Were you daunted at the prospect of managing it?
k n a b d o o F l o t s i r B t Eas
t s ti p a B s d n o p h Fis This is Rachel, one of the volunteers. 2
“I hadn’t expected to manage it and it didn’t even occur to me that I would be asked. When Richard approached me and asked me to be the manager, I was speechless. I really wasn’t expecting that. I said I’d have a think and pray about it. I told my daughter what had happened. I said I didn’t know if I could do it because I was looking after my husband, who was terminally ill at the time. She said she would take every Friday off work so that I could do it! Well, that was it. Every excuse, worry and doubt was taken away, so I agreed I would become the manager.”
Is hosting a Foodbank seen as part of what the church is doing; something that they get behind and support? “Yes, very much so. A lot of the volunteers are church members. People from the church donate food and money. They also pray and support us. If there’s been a hard situation or if something’s gone wrong, they’re always there to support us. Our volunteer teams are much larger now and each volunteer goes above and beyond for our clients. They also love to hear client stories (with permission).”
In your four years of being involved how have you seen it change? “When we started we thought we were busy if we had 7 people in one session. Now we think we’re busy if we have 15 – 20 people. So the numbers have definitely increased. The Foodbank is very different now because of Universal Credit (UC) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). People are being left without any sort of support for months. 3
Are clients open about their story and why they need to use the Foodbank? “Some people come in and tell you every detail of their lives. Other people reveal more to you over a matter of weeks, as you gain their trust. Some people will not let you in, they’re here for the food and that’s it. And then there are people who tell us the most terrible story and because we have means of checking, we find out that none of its true. Thankfully, these people are in the minority.”
How about any clients that have pulled at your heart strings? “We had a lovely fellow who was looking after his two daughters because his ex-wife didn’t want them with her. He was living in a oneroom bedsit with two girls and so he was rehoused quickly, but into an empty flat. He came to us and explained the situation. We obviously gave him food, which he was extremely grateful for, but he didn’t have any white goods. After a few weeks, we had enough money in the kitty to buy him a mini oven with a hob. This was on condition that when he got enough money to get himself white goods, he would return it so that we could lend it to someone else in need. He was totally honourable and bought it back, boxed and clean. He was a lovely man doing his upmost to sort things out for his children. At Christmas, we gave out vouchers to clients with children, for them to be able to get a hamper at Co-op filled with a turkey, presents and all the trimmings. His family benefited from this and he felt so good to be able to give them the works.”
How do you feel managing the Foodbank interweaves with your Christian faith?
Ruth had to start setting up for the session and so I got to talk with some of the volunteers in her team.
“I like things to happen immediately and so when someone comes to the Foodbank it’s great to see that we can meet their need and that they leave with a smile on their face, feeling valued and respected. Not only do they receive their emergency food parcel, they can get a hot drink, biscuits and a toastie, as well as a chat if they want. Everyone knows that if they are desperate the can come back. For me, working in the Foodbank is an instant feel good fix. It’s a bit like giving a good Christmas to people every Friday, so I love it for that.
Rachel: “I’ve been volunteering since the beginning. To start with there were only a few volunteers but the team has grown over the past two years. We used to have a lot more time to chat with clients but it’s so busy now. It’s frustrating sometimes because clients have so many needs, but there’s a massive queue and you’re rushing everywhere just to get the food parcels done. There’s a lot of additional need beyond food. Some clients don’t want to talk at all and that’s ok. And some come more for the chat than the food in some ways. We’ve got a great team and it’s a team of different people from retired to unemployed.”
My belief is that Jesus loves everybody and everybody is equal. When Jesus was walking around he met people at their point of need. He didn’t start off preaching. He just spoke with them about what was going on. I think particularly of the woman at the well. Jesus asked her for a drink and then had a conversation. He didn’t start by saying you need to be saved. He helped and encouraged people and was always respectful, but he also stepped outside of the rules. Speaking to a woman and giving her his attention would have been out of the question back then. He broke the rules that needed to be broken to show her compassion and love. This is what we do here at the Foodbank. We treat everyone equally regardless of gender”
As the session got started I spoke with a client coming for her food parcel. Such a lovely lady, born in 1946.
One minute Dad was with us and the next minute he was gone. So my Mum was left at home with 5 children. We survived hand to mouth. “I don’t very often use the Foodbank but when I do I’m really grateful. Back when I was a kid we didn’t have it. You had to struggle to survive. I lost my Dad when I was 11. One minute Dad was with us and the next minute he was gone. So my Mum was left at home with 5 children. We survived hand to mouth. Eventually, we were homeless. I was pushed from pillar to post to my Grandmother’s, wherever or whoever would have us, we had to go. We didn’t have anything like this back then. I’m really grateful for the help.”
Matt: “I’ve recently joined the volunteering team and I do it every Friday. It’s really helped my confidence and it’s helped me talk to new people. I like volunteering because it keeps me busy and is something good to do in the week.” I spoke with a volunteer who gave permission for me to share a bit of his story. He’s had such a tragic life so far; all of his immediate family died within 6 months. He was completely lost and started to drink alcohol in order to kill himself. Due to the alcohol abuse, he was unable to eat food and got very emaciated. Eventually, he was hospitalized and managed to get help. He went through Rehab at Chandos House (rehabilitation unit in Bristol that has since closed due to lack of funding). Once he was sober and started his recovery journey he met Richard from Fishponds Baptist. He started to go to church and then volunteer at the Foodbank. He feels that helping people is a crucial part of his recovery.
Do you mind me asking why you’re using the Foodbank?
“I pay my bills and then I don’t have enough left for everything else. I have to choose whether I go without food sometimes and that’s why I’m here. Thank you for listening to me.”
Another volunteer who has also gone through rehab and is now in recovery, lives in Hope 43 house, which is a recovery house run by Fishponds Baptist. He volunteers in the Foodbank every Friday and his main role is making toasties and hot drinks for the clients who come for food parcels. He says that Bristol charities and agencies are good at working together to make sure that they’re not repeating services and making sure support is spread across each day of the week. 4
If you’re inspired by these interviews and want to know how you can support East Bristol Foodbank please visit the website: eastbristol.foodbank.org.uk/, or get in touch with the Project Manager, Andy Irwin firstname.lastname@example.org/07584 625082. 5
Help beyond emergency food Whilst I visited the Fishponds outlet, there was one person I was really intrigued to meet. Clea started at the beginning of December as our resident Citizens Advice Benefits Advisor. She is available for clients at all three of our Foodbank outlets in Easton, Kingswood and Fishponds. Clea and I found a quiet (ish!) spot in Fishponds Baptist to have a chat and find out what assistance she offers to those who need help beyond emergency food.
So, I am employed by Citizens Advice to deliver Citizens Advice advice, but my client base is from East Bristol Foodbank. My experience so far is that the clients I see at the Foodbanks are different to the clients that I would have seen at Citizens Advice. They aren’t just struggling financially, the vast majority of them have mental health issues. Their financial struggles, along with their mental health struggles, means that going to Citizens Advice in the centre of Bristol is problematic. They may not have the bus fare or it can be so overwhelming mentally that they just can’t do it. So, I’m here on their doorstep.”
Let’s start with a bit of background; what were you doing before joining East Bristol Foodbank? “I was working for Citizens Advice Bureau in Stroud as a supervisor to the volunteer advisors. When I was doing an Open University course in Law, it was suggested that volunteering at your local Citizens Advise was a good way to gain experience. I loved it so much I actually didn’t want a career in Law anymore, I wanted to work at Citizens Advice! I was supervisor for 10 years, but I really wanted to work with clients, because when you start as a volunteer that’s one of the things that makes it brilliant. I applied for a client-facing job that focused on benefits but I didn’t get it. Off the back of my interview I was asked whether I’d be interested in this post at East Bristol Foodbank. 10 6
Why do you think there’s been an increase in people using the Foodbank? “People are struggling because of changes to benefits. The system in place at the moment results in people just about getting by if nothing goes wrong. All you need is a hiccup, so a late payment or for you not to realise a change in circumstances means you’ve had an overpayment, to find yourself suddenly in debt. Where you had been managing, as soon as you’re in debt, it sets everything in disarray. So inevitably the people that I’ve seen with benefit issues, also have debt. 7
‘The benefit and tax credit that they’d been relying on to get by is now gone and they’ve also incurred debt, so it’s a double smack in the face. A lot of the problem is that people don’t know what they need to do.’
Do you get involved in advice around PIP (Personal Independence Payment)?
Sometimes people are struggling because of a delay in benefits when transitioning from ‘legacy’ benefits on to the new universal credit system. Not every person who moves on to universal credit (UC) is worse off, in fact, some people are better off, but they have 5 weeks to wait until their money comes through. When they’ve been used to getting money weekly or fortnightly, 5 weeks is a really long time. Some people haven’t had it explained to them that UC includes rent and so when they get the money they spend it all. They also might not know how to budget effectively or at all.
“I’ve helped eight people with various health related benefits including: a PIP assessment form, one PIP review, some ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) forms, and a few UC 50 forms, which is the health-based assessment to decide whether somebody is fit for work.”
Have you seen people who were receiving disability living allowance, who are no longer deemed to have a disability under PIP?
A couple of people I’ve seen with teenage children haven’t considered their change in circumstances when their children have turned 18. Not only does their child benefit and tax credit stop, they’ve incurred an overpayment. The benefit and tax credit that they’d been relying on to get by is now gone and they’ve also incurred debt, so it’s a double smack in the face. A lot of the problem is that people don’t know what they need to do.”
“At the moment I haven’t. With the PIP review I did, it was someone who was already receiving PIP and the review was just to see if their condition had changed. I don’t know the outcome of the review yet because it’s taking about 12 weeks for PIP decisions to be released. I had one client who filled in a UC 50 form before Christmas; when I saw him 6 weeks later he still hadn’t heard anything.”
What has been the highlight for you so far being a CAB Benefits Advisor based at East Bristol Foodbank? Has there been any person you’ve seen where their story has stuck with you?
What demographics of people have you seen visiting East Bristol Foodbank? “It’s been very broad in all three of the outlets. I’ve seen single people and people with dependents. The majority are in their mid20s, all the way up to people in their 60s. It’s working age people but very few are in work, usually due to health issues.”
“One client in particular was someone who’d just been released from prison. They immediately started looking for work. They had 8
Do people need to have a food voucher to be able to gain access to your advice?
severe mental health problems but they were quite positive. When I spoke with them, they talked about working but as I listened to them it became apparent that there was no way they could work, but they were so determined to get a job. They’ve been struggling since summer 2019 and it’s had an impact on their finances – if they were found not fit to work they’d potentially be better off by around £60.00 a week, which is a really significant amount. I really warmed to them.
“That has been a bit tricky because I have made appointments with people for benefits advice and when they arrive they don’t have a voucher but during conversation with them it transpires that they are in need of food as well. It has been at the discretion of the Foodbank Manager whether they give out a food parcel there and then or whether they refer them to an agency that can assess the situation and issue a food voucher for them to bring back. My role is a new addition to East Bristol Foodbank so we’re feeling our way about all the logistics. We’re trying things, embracing them, developing them, and dismissing them as necessary.”
Every person I’ve spoken to so far has been really grateful and relieved that somebody has taken time to help them, even if their situation hasn’t improved. The person I was talking about previously actually said to me, “you’re the first person who’s actually helping me.”
As a charity, our aim is not only to help people in their crisis but to help people move beyond their crisis, into a fulfilling life. This is one of the reasons we changed our name to inHope, to try and encapsulate that sense that no-one is beyond hope, no matter what their situation, there is always hope.
Another high point was when I helped someone with a discretionary housing payment. All I did was help them fill in the form but it was successful and they’re now better off. It’s nice to know that I helped make that happen for them. Working at CAB and the Foodbank, we do our very best to help people, but sometimes it won’t be enough to move them on from the situation they find themselves in and that’s really difficult to accept. I have a client at the moment that I’m really gutted about. They’ve stopped engaging with me but I know they really need help. They’re just not in a place where they can overcome their barriers. They’re another case of not understanding how UC works. They were made redundant and received payments from the company after they had applied for UC. They’d assumed they would receive UC on top of their back pay but the amount of back pay they had in their bank account (which is reviewed as part of the claim) was more than they would receive from UC, so they received no money for that month. They should have used their back pay to pay rent and bills but they just didn’t get it. We looked at their UC claim and I was able to explain what had happened. They were really pleased that they finally understood. It didn’t make any difference in their circumstances, they still had no money, but at least they understood why.”
Issues with benefits can be one of the reasons people get into crisis. Your role as Benefits Advisor is helping people beyond their immediate need, to address how they’ve got in to that position and as far as you’re able, get them a positive outcome. It’s really great to have you with us! “I have felt very, very welcome and appreciated, which has been so nice. It’s really great to be on board and I’m loving it! It’s really hard; emotionally and mentally. Actually, at St Mark’s Easton, before Christmas it was physically hard as well because I was helping lug crates of tins around! But that’s all part of being in a team.”
What were you doing before you joined inHope?
I try and balance the meals I cook for the clients, so that everyone gets to experience food from all over the world: India, China, Morocco, Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe, and even good old England!
In 1997, I completed college and became a qualified chef. Over the years, I have worked up the ranks in many bars and restaurants in Bristol. For the past 15 years, I’ve been a Head Chef.
Welcome to our new chef,
What made you apply for the role? I applied for the job after months, if not years, of ignoring the feeling of needing to move on. Someone from church sent me the link to the Wild Goose chef job description on Facebook and said it would be really good for me. Actually, it was an answer to my prayers. I desired to serve God more but wondered why I was being consumed with work and going through stress and unhappiness, when all I wanted to do was use my skills for God’s glory. Now, here I am serving happily and with a peaceful mind at the Wild Goose.
All of our fresh food comes from our partnership with CostCo. A volunteer uses the inHope van to collect food from the Avonmouth CostCo outlet every week day morning. The food that is given would otherwise be thrown into landfill. We receive all sorts of fresh food but I’ve noticed that we receive a large amount of pork in all different cuts. I very much enjoy the challenge of creating many different dishes using pork. A few things that I’ve noticed we lack in our food store, which would be very useful for making the food extra tasty, are garlic puree, ginger puree, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried mixed herbs and pesto (green or red). If anyone was able to donate those (preferably in bulk) that would be much appreciated please.
What has been the highlight of the job so far? The highlight for me so far has been the Wild Goose Christmas dinner! The abundance of blessing; from supporters donating food and presents, to the servant hearts of the volunteers. That day we cooked Christmas dinner for around 300 people and the atmosphere was full of joy!
Whilst the Wild Goose is closed we won’t be able to accept donations. Once we are open again (aiming to be mid-summer), we will need donations again. Watch this space!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? Outside of work I’m quite simple and enjoy peace and quiet. I love music and also enjoy seeking and buying original art. I occasionally play golf and recently purchased a bike, so will enjoy riding very soon!
Sprucing the Goose
Remember these photos from inside the Wild Goose that featured during the Sprucing the Goose appeal last year?! We are very pleased to announce that a building contractor has been agreed by our trustees and we will be handing over the keys to them on Monday 23rd March, for the construction work to commence!
inHope’s partnership with Burges Salmon: a Bristol-based independent law firm
How long have Burges Salmon been involved in supporting inHope? Drop-in space ■ Replacing the floor.
At the time of going to print, other premises are being explored for us to be able to continue to serve food and drink to the Wild Goose clients during the day, throughout the closure. A venue for the Life Course is also being sought. Spring of Hope women’s night shelter and East Bristol Foodbank will remain open as usual. The whole staff team will continue to work but at a different site, location to be confirmed (at time of writing).
■ New lighting to help create a psychologically informed environment.
Below is a list of the work that will be done. As you can see, it is major work and we really value your prayers that all will go well.
■ Upgrading CCTV system.
Toilets ■ Gutting of current men’s toilets, and rebuilding as three unisex cubicles. ■ The current accessible toilet will become an accessible wet-room, so there will be a shower downstairs as well as upstairs.
Kitchen ■ Reconfiguring of the washing up area. ■ Installation of a surface level industrial dishwasher. ■ Upgrading the kitchen units, e.g. the bain-marie. ■ Additional ventilation in the washing up area to help remove excess moisture from the air.
External ■ External windows and doors replaced. ■ Damp treated and the causes dealt with. ■ Re-rendering the front and sides of the property.
“Burges Salmon has a strong community engagement link with inHope, dating back to 2013. As a responsible business, we give our people the chance to give back to their community, to instil a personal sense of pride in themselves and Burges Salmon’s culture.” – Sarah Hamnett, Burges Salmon Corporate Responsibility Advisor
■ Undertaking and funding renovation projects at Spring of Hope women’s night shelter.
■ Sky-light fitted in the small meeting room. I will be sharing fortnightly updates on what the builders have been up to, with photos and possibly some video footage. Throughout the building project, we will still need your support with practical donations and volunteer needs and these will be shared in the fortnightly update. If you would like to receive these emails please let me know ASAP: email@example.com. If you already receive our monthly e-news, unless you specify otherwise, you will automatically receive the fortnightly update.
‘The Wild Goose is a heavily relied upon service, and they rely on volunteers to run it.’
What would you say to other corporates or businesses who are thinking of getting involved in supporting inHope?
We have been honoured to support this fantastic charity in numerous ways over the years, for example;
■ Additional fire exit created.
■ Upgraded office lighting.
‘The emotional support and empathy on offer makes the Wild Goose Café such a critical place for those in need’.
What support do you provide?
■ Providing volunteers at the Wild Goose drop-in Centre.
■ Repainted and re-carpeted.
‘The dedication of the staff, providing food daily is tiring work, the team are incredibly organised and efficient’
‘inHope has a strong community presence, values and beliefs and offers invaluable support, helping those in need. Burges Salmon are proud to support inHope. Its staff are incredibly loyal and passionate about supporting people with life-disrupting problems to live independent lives. I would without a doubt recommend other corporates and businesses to engage with the charity.’ – Sarah Hamnett, Corporate Responsibility Advisor.
■ Proving kitchen equipment, cups, plates, and cooking essentials. ■ Promoting internally their Christmas Foodbank appeals, donating essential and luxury food items, and toiletries.
If you’re part of a local corporate, business or community organisation (e.g. sports clubs, uniformed organisations and rotary clubs) and you think they might be interested in supporting us, please get in touch with me so we can meet to talk through different options.
■ Donating brand new gloves, hats, scarfs, socks, ruck sacks, flasks and walking boots. ■ A donation of £500 in lieu of a keynote speaker fee. The money went towards wish list items; a stereo and new hairdryers for Spring of Hope.
Steve Baker, inHope Development & Relationships Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org/0117 405 7113.
What feedback do your employees give about their time volunteering at inHope? ‘Spring of Hope is much more than a shelter, it’s a beautiful, well looked after home for vulnerable and homeless women’.
■ Replacing the floor to ensure it is sturdy and hygienic. ■ Infilling the cellar underneath the kitchen. 10 15 12
VISION FOR THE VULNERABLE
Christians from across Bristol gather quarterly to pray for four charities who are working on the front-line of issues facing vulnerable women in Bristol.
Beloved supports women working in prostitution in indoor settings, showing love, kindness, a listening ear, signposting and practical support.
“Vision for the Vulnerable is important because it inform others about what organisations are doing to support vulnerable women in Bristol. We can live our comfortable lives and not be aware of the struggles of others. It’s vital for a thriving city to have people from all different churches working together, celebrating breakthroughs and to pray for vulnerable women.
An inHope project, offers emergency temporary accommodation within a warm, friendly community environment for women with complex needs.
One breakthrough was when we received the funding to employ two extra women’s workers, including one that speaks Romanian, which has opened up a lot of opportunities for us. That was an answer to prayer!
Addiction & Recovery Training 2020
Vision for the Vulnerable
A 6-part training series that equips churches and pastoral care workers with a better understanding of how to support people struggling with addiction.
Beloved is grounded in prayer and we are so grateful for those who persistently pray for us. We are blessed in so many ways by God and that is because we have so many people who stand with us in prayer.”
Session 2: ‘Relapse & Recovery’ by Ant Newman, Life Recovery skills tutor
An evening to pray for four charities who are working with vulnerable women in Bristol: Beloved, One25, Spring of Hope and Unseen. We gather together for an update, to pray for the vital work and a time of worship. All are welcome.
One25 helps women to break free from street sex work, addiction and other life-controlling issues and build new, independent lives.
Rosie, the CEO of Beloved. If you are interested to find out more about these charities and how you can pray effectively, we would very much encourage you to attend the next Vision for the Vulnerable.
Unseen are working towards a world without slavery, both supporting exploited people and tackling the systemic issues of modern slavery. 14 12
Date: Tuesday 28th April
Date: Saturday 14th March
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Venue: Woodlands Church Crypt, Belgrave Road, BS8 2AA
Venue: RESOUND, Blackhorse Road, Mangotsfield, Bristol, BS16 0BP To book your place on this session (and all sessions), please visit: www.cognitoforms.com/LRG4/ LifeRecoveryGroupTrainingSessions2020 13 15
inHope Lent Reflection This Lent we are reflecting on aspects of life that people lose due to homelessness. I’ve written a lent series full of weekly reflections, questions, bible verses and challenges. Here are some excerpts from week three. Feel free to download the whole booklet from our website: https://crisis-centre.org.uk/lent2020. Week 3 – Health
sets a sleep routine that enables them to get 8 hours of sleep a day, at regular times.
Advice about mental and physical health is everywhere. Whether it’s an advert encouraging us to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, or the ‘it’s ok to not be ok’ campaign, there is a greater awareness that we must all take our personal health seriously, and take steps to actively improve it.
According to Psychology Today, having a pet has shown to be very beneficial for people, especially those with a mental health illness. Pets provide companionship, as well as lowering blood pressure, and reducing depression and anxiety. Some homeless people have a dog and this can be one of the reasons they don’t take places in homeless shelters or hostels because dogs are often not allowed.
There is a huge industry around self-care, which are activities initiated by an individual to improve their wellbeing. For example, someone
isn’t so happy though. Not long after being in his flat, Simon was diagnosed with cancer. Because of the community he’d found at the Wild Goose he named Esther as his next of kin. Sadly, Simon passed away in December 2019. There is no way to know whether his premature death was due to his previous living conditions but I’m sure it didn’t help – the average life expectancy for a man who sleeps rough is 43.
What activities of self-care do you engage in? How do they help your wellbeing? What things do you think you could do to improve your health?
Health and homelessness In addition to health being negatively affected by being homeless, poor health can actually cause homelessness. Childhood trauma can cause mental health illnesses, such as PTSD, psychosis, and severe depression. If therapy and medication are not sought, sufferers can attempt to cope by using drugs and alcohol in order to blank out or numb their traumatic thoughts and feelings. As you might imagine, once sufferers are caught in addiction, it’s near impossible to maintain a job, pay the bills, or keep personal relationships. This can lead to homelessness.
What does the bible say? 1 Corinthians 6: 19 & 20, ‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.’ What do these verses mean to you? God made us with physical bodies that are able to give him glory. I suspect that most of us reading this will have it in our power to look after our physical and mental health. When we take steps to look after our wellbeing, we are able to make better choices that will glorify God.
One of the problems people with severe mental health issues and addiction problems face is that some mental health care providers tell them that they need to address their addiction first, but then some addiction rehabilitation facilities tell them to get their mental health treated and stable first. Talk about a catch 22!
This week’s challenge
This week’s challenge could be something to take up or something to give up. Go back to the earlier question about what you could do to improve your health – what was your answer?
Simon had a job he loved, a family and a dog. When he lost his job he got depressed and started drinking heavily. His wife left him and took his sons and dog away. After a while, Simon had no money and ended up living in his car. The council found him a place in a shared house, but the conditions were so bad that one day he was found unconscious, was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia.
As you do this challenge, remember those in prayer who don’t have the power to improve their health. It’s very unlikely for a homeless person to be able to get 8 hours sleep, or to have a holiday, or to treat themselves to a long bath, or even just to eat healthily. Ask God to enable people without a home to easily access the help they need to find accommodation that will help them thrive, and help to address childhood trauma and addiction problems.
Once out of hospital, Simon came to The Wild Goose and started to get support. With Esther’s help (the Wild Goose Engagement Worker), Simon got his own flat. The end of the story
‘...the average life expectancy for a man who sleeps rough is 43’ 16
Why your support is so important
I’d like to help homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol (You can also donate online at inhope.uk)
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On page 5, you will have read about the lovely lady who uses our foodbank in Fishponds say, “I pay my bills and then I don’t have enough left for everything else. I have to choose whether I go without food sometimes and that’s why I’m here.”
(https://www.gov.uk/ government/publications/ substance-misusetreatment-for-adultsstatistics-2018-to-2019/ adult-substance-misusetreatment-statistics-2018-to2019-report)
Instructions to your Bank/Building Society: Please pay this sum to inHope (Bristol) Limited, a/c number 01408518 sort code 40-14-13 HSBC, 62 George White Street, Cabot Circus, Bristol, BS1 3BA.
The Life Recovery team walk alongside people on the long road away from homelessness, addiction or trauma. For many people, it’s not a simple road. ‘Of the people still in treatment at the end of March 2019, over a third (38%) have had 4 or more treatment journeys and over a quarter (27%) have been in treatment continuously.’ The Life Recovery team are there for people whether it’s one long journey, or whether they need to restart their journey over and over again.
And your gift will mean 25% more! For every £1 you donate, Gift Aid allows us to claim an additional 25p from HMRC. Please treat as Gift Aid donations all qualifying gifts made: in the past four years/today/in the future* I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference. If you pay Income Tax at the higher or additional rate and want to receive the additional tax relief due to you, you must include all your Gift Aid donations on your Self-Assessment tax return or ask HMRC to adjust your tax code. Full Name (Title) Address
Data protection: inHope will not share your information with any third party except HMRC if applicable. To find out how we use your personal information, please read our policy at crisis-centre.org.uk/data-protection-policy
The Life Course and Life Recovery Groups (the two halves of our Life Recovery project) are vital to provide life skills and mutual support for people to be able to live well, remain clean/sober, and make relapse less likely. “The Life Course has helped me regain my confidence to do life, to get out of depression, and to build better relationships without compromising my recovery.” Tony, Life Course participant. 18
Please return this form to: FREEPOST RSTX-XTYH-CJCA, inHope, 32 Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0QY
Thank you for your support Spring 2020
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Financial Summary Year to Date, 9 months to 12.2019 Actual Income: £639,093 Actual expenditure: £460,205 Net Surplus/Deficit* £178,888
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Wild Goose Drop-in – £145,917 LIFE Recovery – £71,271 Spring of Hope – £102,697 East Bristol Foodbank – £60,444 Spruce the Goose – £876 Fundraising – £79,000
Please complete and return this form to: FREEPOST RSTX-XTYH-CJCA, inHope. 32 Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol BS5 0QY
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Data protection: inHope. will not share your information with any third party except the HM Revenue & Customs if applicable. To find out how we use your personal information, please read our policy on our website www.crisis-centre.org.uk/data-protection-policy
Businesses & Organisations – £81,245 Churches – £69,612 Individuals – £238,109 Trusts & Foundations – £175,900 Legacies – £62,687 Other income – £11,540
Relevant updates regarding your donations to our projects and/or relevant to the projects you are interested in.
*of the surplus, committed to the refurbishment of the Wild Goose, and will be spent when the refurbishment takes place. £97,473
Get Involved Volunteer If you’d like to give your time to serving vulnerable and marginalised people, you can volunteer at one of our projects. There are a range of volunteer roles available across the organisation suitable for differing gifts and availabilities. Contact Steve Smith, our Volunteer Coordinator, if you’d like to find out more: email@example.com or 0117 405 7112.
Pray As a Christian charity, prayer is integral to all that we do. If you’d like to join the group of volunteers that pray regularly for the work that we do and the people who we work with, you can sign up for our prayer email newsletter via our website.
Donate With the number of homeless people increasing in Bristol, your donations are appreciated now more than ever. They help provide hot meals, shelter, love and hope to our city’s most destitute. To find out more about donating visit our website or contact us on 0117 405 7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraise If you’d like to raise money for homeless people in Bristol then we’d love to work with you. Whether you’re thinking about hosting an event or taking part in a challenge, visit our website to find out more about fundraising with us.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter Social media can be a powerful tool for good. You can share our posts with your friends and family to raise awareness and get them enthusiastic about a cause you believe in. We regularly post about practical needs (clothes etc) and appeals, as well as sharing snippets of stories of the impact your giving is making to people’s lives. facebook.com/inHopeBristol @inHopeBristol Sign up for our monthly email newsletter at inhope.uk