Homeless Forum

Salvation Army Candle Community Centre

18th March  2004


Those Present

Lee Barnes (Bristol Methodist Centre), Paul Hazelden (Crisis Centre Ministries), Ailsa McWilliam (Caring at Christmas), Susanna Misson (Hope Centre & Christ Church), Kevin Stone (Candle Community Centre, Salvation Army), Mark Stonham (Redland Parish Church), Paul Tipler (Aspire), Betty Wear (Saint Nicholas of Tolentino) and Graham Wheeler (Bristol Soup Run Trust).

Apologies Received

Apologies had been received from Alison Beard (Key to Life, Bradley Stoke), Anni Davey (Crisis Centre Ministries), Rhi Day (One25 Project), Michelle Evans (Bristol City Council), Helen Hill (One25 Project), John Knuckey (Carmel Christian Centre), Barry Penn (Bristol Methodist Centre) and David Perry (Emmaus Bristol).

Previous Meeting

There were a few changes to be made to the notes in that Caring at Christmas actually own the building rather than the Julian Trust; Kevin Stone oversees the Candle Community Centre Fathers’ group; and the Bristol Easton Salvation Army operates a breakfast run.

Matters Arising

Richard at the Hub has confirmed that the Bristol Homeless Directory should be ready by the end of March / beginning of April 2004.

Housing Options Pack (Council) – this needs to be chased up.

Sue Strickland has been transferred sideways to Best Value Review. Michelle Evans is still in the same post working for the Streetwise Initiative. We believe that there is funding now available to Streetwise for the next year ahead.

Bristol Soup Run Trust – there are 4 new teams and every night is now covered.

The Emmaus workshop is now open.

The Food list has been updated, with one small amendment outstanding: the Wild Goose Coffee Shop is now also open from 8 pm – 10 pm on a Monday evening. You can find this list on the website.

First Aid training has now been confirmed on the 22nd and 29th May 2004 from 1 pm – 4 or 5 pm.

ISAAC – the launch of the UK branch has been postponed until June. The details of this will be circulated soon, but their web site is not currently up to date.

Information Share


Contact Details – Emmaus Bristol’s email address has changed to community@emmausbristol.org.

Salvation Army – Candle Community Centre

The program is stable and there have been no real alterations. These are the three drop-in times:

                        Tuesday                        10.30 am – 1 pm

                        Wednesday                        3 pm – 5 pm

                        Thursday                        2.30 pm – 5 pm

They serve hot food and drinks, provide newspapers, and there are volunteers for people to talk to. Sunday lunch is served from 12.30 – 1 pm. They also give out clothing vouchers, food parcels and sleeping bags.

Methodist Centre

Open door drop in centre which is open on Sundays from 3 pm – 5 pm, Mondays 1.15 pm – 3.30 pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 am – 3.30 pm and on Thursdays from 10 am – 2.30 pm. People are given clothes, laundry is carried out, there are computer classes, mental health advisors, a developing prayer centre and food is served. Up to 70 people can attend at one time. All the resources are free to everyone including the use of computers and the phone. They have noticed an increase in people who have mental health problems including extreme self-harmers but there are also a number of people who are now clean and making progress.

They are more of a signpost organisation compared to Emmaus, who are more specific in the people they can work with. The people who attend Emmaus cannot have a chaotic lifestyle, as they need to work and reside there.


There is to be a Saturday soup run this month.  They are trying to raise funds from parishioners for local activity rather than overseas missions.

Bristol Soup Trust Run

Every night is now covered and things are going very well.

St Nicholas Church

They can have up to 30 people at a time and so it can get very busy. They have had difficulties with violence having had windows smashed in as there are many people attending with mental problems. They have also had a lot of problems with syringes being left lying about.

Caring at Christmas

Their website has gone live although there has not been the publicity for that yet as details need to be checked to make sure all information is accurate. Please could people therefore visit the site (http://www.caringinbristol.org) to see if the details are correct for their particular project?

They are hoping that people will look at the information on the website rather than taking the survival guides as these are rapidly running out. The new issue is now expected to be available earlier than August. It costs about £1 a copy to produce, although only 50p is charged at the moment.


They have 6 employees now, a few of which are going to the Methodist Centre for lunches. The window cleaning business is going exceptionally well since November 2003. In total at the moment they have about 220 customers mainly from the north of Bristol. They are applying for further funding. They also have a window cleaner with them at the moment helping with the training who is from Woodlands church. He drives the van and uses their materials etc and seems to be loving the experience.

One of their employees is doing a course and doing very well however a question has arisen over another employee as to his status as an illegal immigrant. At the moment they are not actively recruiting and hope to move a couple of employees on to further employment soon.

They have started a scheme regarding goods collection and delivery where cold calls are made and followed up by a letter. They collect anything ranging from bikes to materials and even a jeep. These are then shipped overseas. This is in partnership with BCF Zambia. There is also a wood recycling scheme which is based in Brighton but which they are in the process of helping them to set up a franchise in Bristol. They have really begun to diversify from the catalogue.

The situation is very positive at the moment, especially with the support from Prince Charles, however they are looking for some administrative assistance for 3 – 4 mornings a week volunteering at first. As we know though God answers prayers and they therefore believe that things will fall into place as they have done so before.

Crisis Centre Ministries

They have recently helped several people to move into their own flats. Individually there have been many positive things happening.

Bridgehead Church on Wednesday lunchtimes is going well: people worship and engage with God and care for others. They are also looking to support the Zambia project. It is helpful for those who do not have much to think about those who have even less.

They would like to move the Wild Goose Coffee Shop down City Road to the old bike shop. If people are interested, there is an up to date summary available about this project, and where the various strands of activity have currently reached, but it is too complicated to detail here. Prayer is vital as they really need confirmation as to whether this is the right place as it is not the easiest place to convert, but equally if it is not the right place then it would be great for guidance as to where they should move to.

Other Business

Business in Community

Business in the Community are hosting a breakfast meeting on April 6th 2004 about the “Ready for Work” scheme. They take on clients from our sector and provide them with a two week work experience course at places such as Marks and Spencers. About 30% get taken on afterwards in full or part time employment.

There were useful discussions around the recent decision taken by the Advertising Standards Agency who have withdrawn the poster with the phrase that “The £1 that you give might buy them the heroin that kills them” as they say that this link could not be specifically proven. Caring at Christmas have an article about this on their web site. It is suggested that individually we should write to the Agency expressing our opinions that from our experiences this poster is entirely correct.  It is very important that we respond and complain about these types of rulings: without such feedback, they will continue.

Discussions then progressed on to whether there is enough information for the public about how to actually give financially should they wish to. It isn’t obvious to the public where collection boxes are kept. Maybe we should be suggesting alternatives?

Food Lists

Paul H circulated some updated lists of places in Bristol for homeless people to get food, and thanked Kevin for ringing around and getting details of the changes. Vineyard is no longer doing soup runs.

It is still imperative that all organisations coordinate the meeting points and should be encouraged to do so. Discussions were raised about the suitability of having certain marked places, such as areas being marked with a yellow triangle, so that those involved were aware of what these related to but members of the public were not. Suggestions are welcomed.

First Aid Training

Please book if you wish to attend. The dates are Saturday 22nd and 29th May 2004 from 1 pm until 4 or 5 pm at Trinity Tabernacle. The total cost for the two sessions will be £5.00. Please therefore let Paul know as soon as possible if you are interested. There will be another two courses in the Autumn.

Volunteer training day

The next one is on Saturday 17th April 2004 and it is dealing with learning to talk to people about our faith in an appropriate way. Please contact Paul H for further details.



This is a scheme run by Crisis, the national homelessness charity. They collect and recycle unused quality food and other surplus goods and then deliver them with help from volunteers. There is a meeting about the possibility of setting up a scheme in Bristol on April 16th between 9.15 am and 12 noon: if you require further details on this please contact Paul H directly.


We have received a leaflet on “Homelessness, smoking and health”.  Nearly half of all smokers die from smoking related diseases. In our client group many smoke and this just further damages people who are already physically damaged and ill. This will be looked at in greater detail at a later meeting. At the Methodist Centre there is a no smoking policy in training however there are breaks when smoking is allowed. There is a belief that if there was a total ban on smoking, the majority of the client base would be forced out.


They have produced a leaflet about drugs and their effect on people and the local community, which is absolutely brilliant in its information and relevance. If you would like to order a copy please let Paul know. It relates to dealing with drugs in the inner city and actually takes Bristol as a case study. It will be extremely helpful for volunteers and staff in this sector.

Bristol Mind

They have an advertising poster at the moment, appealing to people in Bristol who have mental health problems but who haven’t been to their GP or the NHS for the past two years about it. They want to do case studies on these people and will pay £10 each to people who fit this category.

Multi Agency Assessment Tool Kit – Leaflet  

The Hub, in theory, fulfils this role in Bristol, but the service could be significantly improved – and they are themselves very aware of this. This publication may well assist the Hub and it might be useful to discuss this more at a future meeting.

Usual Documents

The usual set of documents were made available for people to look at and pick up, along with a few new ones:

If anyone would like a copy of one or more of these documents, they are available from the Crisis Centre office, and on the BCAN web site (www.bcan.org.uk).

Future Meeting

Please Note: The meeting on the 13th May will be at the Methodist Centre on Midland Road, just off Old Market, between 7.30 pm and 9 pm.