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Summer 2013 Autumn 2013

TRANSFORMING LIVES TOGETHER Transform Lives; Culvate Talent; Release Potenal

Recognised by the Centre for Social Jusce

Friends First offers a “hand-up” by encouraging people to take posive steps forward with their lives; enabling progression from desperaon: unemployment, homelessness, isolaon and mental health issues to aspiraon: job readiness, employability and belonging to a community.

Friends First has been invited by the Centre for Social Jusce (CSJ) to become one of their poverty fighter’s alliance members following an assessment of our work. The Centre for Social Jusce is a cross-polical think-tank, based in Westminster, which idenfies models of excellence, effecveness and innovaon in tackling the root causes of poverty. The CSJ then champions and endorses the work of its Alliance members at the heart of government, using illustraons and examples of best pracce in private meengs, at public events, and in policy. It is an honour and privilege to have been recognised and endorsed for delivering transformaonal change in people’s lives.

Welcome to Friend First’s third newsle"er of the year! We would like to thank you for your connued support and trust that you will find this autumn edion informave.

Garden Party Fundraiser A massive thank you to Julie Christy, a wonderful volunteer at our Night Shelter, who organised a garden party in the summer raising over £500 for Friends First! Ways to get involved: Think creavely about acvies that are enjoyable and have the added bonus of social impact through FUNdraising!

Brighton Mini Mile: open for registraon! We are pleased to say that the Mini Mile Races will take place on Saturday 5th April in Preston Park. To register go to: For Mini-Milers who would like to raise funds and awareness for Friends First through sponsorship contact Serena Crisp (details below)

A-Share-Of-The-Crop We have a mutually-beneficial relaonship with A-Share-Of-The-Crop, a Brighton-based social enterprise that believes that food is best local, fresh and seasonal. Over the last few months we have supplied them with hispi cabbages, french beans, fruit punnets, red onions and tomatoes.

Ethical Investment: Chamber of Commerce We are excited about our aim to expand our enterprise iniaves to generate income. It is therefore great to work alongside The Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce who invited FF to parcipate in Naonal Ethical Investment Week; a campaign to increase awareness that sustainable and ethical invesng allows businesses to be profitable while making a difference in people’s lives: precisely our goal!!

Barista Coffee Training Brightonians just love their arsan coffee! We would therefore like our trainees to culvate the art of Barista Coffee. What be"er way to do so than through The Small Batch Coffee Company? Small Batch is a locally and ethically based coffee company whose mission is to source, roast and brew only the finest quality coffee whilst educang, and training those whom prepare and consume! Members of the Friends First team went along to their impressive training venue to try out their skills in Barista and to forge a working relaonship for the future.

Contact us: For more informaon on Friends First or anything featured in this Newsle2er contact Serena Crisp (Communicaons and Markeng) on or 01273 840888

Moving On Up & Farewell Jack Sparrow

Arts-Based Therapeuc Care

Since our last newsle"er, six people have moved from our supporve community living to achieve greater independence!

The therapeuc element of our work has a vital part to play. Holisc therapeuc input can be achieved in a number of ways; one of our main focuses has been Horcultural Therapy. We are now branching into more creave arts-based therapies including Movement Therapy, Art Therapy, and Music Therapy with the objecve to facilitate emoonal, physical, social and mental well-being.

We celebrated Andy’s move to independence a=er a twentyone month snt with us. His buoyancy, passion for dressing up as a pirate, and the catch from his fishing expedions, will be missed! “I will miss everyone. They are like family to me,” he said. “I will miss the garden that is always bursng with life.” Nonetheless, he is thrilled to be in his own flat for this new chapter of his life. John and Mike have moved into a Wiston Estate co"age. This will enable John to carry on his forestry role there and to grow his tree and garden maintenance business in a more rural area. Mike (former Butcher of the Year in Sussex winner) will connue to work at Richards Sco"’s farm where he has been able to ulise his amazing skills and passion in butchery.

“Make a Difference” Student Iniaves Friends First would like to say a massive thank you to both students groups from Brighton College and YMCA Naonal Cizens Award for choosing Friends First once again to outwork their “Make a Difference” iniaves. Their enthusiasm and passion for social acon is simply awesome!

Prosper Together through Employment Mentoring Darren, Brian and Kevin have moved to a house in Portslade which will help them to be closer to work, opening up further work opportunies. Darren expressed excitement about the move as his travel me to Higgidy Pies will be reduced, and he will be closer to his son: a win-win scenario

Bike Shed Construcon Danny Cassidy is teaching our guys invaluable carpentry skills. Presently they are busily construcng a bike shed at our base to encourage the team to be “green” by cycling to work and opng for a healthier lifestyle!

Friends First: yet another double-page arcle in The Argus Ben Szobody is a dedicated volunteer of FF and also a talented writer. He wrote an arcle which beaufully described his personal experience at Growing Together as well as the tangible therapeuc benefits of the project. The Argus published a double-page spread based on Ben’s script. Please do contact us if you would like a copy.

Replicang the Growing Together Model We are presently looking to replicate our successful Growing Together model within accessible green spaces across the city; widening our reach to the community and the people we seek to support. If you have access to producve open space which may be suitable please get in touch!

Friends First’s Employment Mentoring has had an invaluable impact on individuals and employment mentors alike; with 100% of individuals achieving employment so far. We presently work in partnership with local organisaons such as Higgidy Pies, Richard Sco Farms and The Wiston Estate. Local businesses and employers are carefully selected and encouraged to mentor skilled individuals who are unemployed. The employment mentor supports the individuals by giving them work experience and developing their skills, which boosts their confidence for employment. This iniave has created numerous employment opportunies, and has been instrumental in moving individuals into employment and sustained independent living. Following the successful outcome of our Prosper Together iniave we plan to embark on Employment Mentoring on a larger scale. Your business could be involved: please do contact us if you would like to make a difference through employment mentoring.

The Winter Night Shelter The Night Shelter was an overwhelming success last year: where all the rough sleepers who a"ended the Night Shelter were suitably housed; two of those with FF! The Night Shelter will restart on Monday 25th November to provide emergency food and shelter to 15 rough sleepers, running unl 20th January. If you would like to volunteer please contact Lizzy Dalby at:

Make a Donaon Any donaon, however large or small, is really appreciated. It's great to know we've got such wonderful individuals supporng FF to transform many more lives. Please visit and select “DONATE” Alternavely you can contact Serena Crisp on 01273 840888.

Transforming lives Together: Autumn 2013  
Transforming lives Together: Autumn 2013  

An informative and inspiring quarterly newsletter with stories of lives transformed through the work of Friends First.