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Helping Churches Respond To Social Needs

BHF Meeting Notes:
9 March 2006

Homeless Forum

Emmaus Bristol
9 March 2006


Everyone present was welcomed to the meeting.

Those Present

Ailsa McWilliam (Caring at Christmas), David Perry (Emmaus Bristol), Paul Hazelden (Crisis Centre Ministries), Val Moore (Christ Church, Clifton; CTiCC&R), Julie Griffiths (Julian Trust), Steve Griffiths (Julian Trust), Mike McNally (FareShare).

Apologies Received

Tim Bainbridge (Cold Weather Group), Paul Tipler (Aspire), Anni Davey (Crisis Centre Ministries), Julian Marsh (BCAN), Ian Mountford (Salvation Army Candle Community Centre) and John Atkinson (Bristol City Council).

Previous Meeting

Julie Griffiths and Val Moore requested the Domestic Abuse stickers, posters, and leaflets at the previous meeting. Val has not yet received any.

Action: Ailsa to ask Medina to send the info to Val.

In the Emmaus information share in the previous minutes, the second paragraph should read ‘better records’ not ‘fewer records’.

The Salvation Army has found premises for a new shop, which should be open any day now: 110 Cheltenham Road.

Information Share

Churches Together in Clifton, Cotham & Redland

The Saturday lunch and breakfast run is experiencing problems at the new bus station, by the new doors where the food is normally distributed. Val will speak to Graham Wheeler to see if anyone else from the Soup Run has mentioned any problems.

Christ Church

The number of people the breakfast run serves has decreased after the high number before Christmas - down to 45 or 50, from a peak of 60-70.

The Homelessness Sunday Service will take place at Christ Church Clifton on 14 May at 3.00 pm. There may be opportunities for organisations to have a stand in the crypt.

Julian Trust

It is still very busy, feeding between 60-90 people each night, 5 nights a week. The beds are full every evening. It is hard to know how many people are turned away as most know that when the beds are gone they cannot stay so do not ask. Finding overnight volunteers is difficult.

The Julian Trust will be 20 years old this year. There are plans for a rededication service and a secular service. Once the dates have been confirmed, Julie will let people know.

Caring at Christmas

Nightstop is going well. The first Nightstop happened on the night of the launch. Two new hosts are starting next week and several people are interested in becoming hosts. A possible new development is finding some volunteer drivers. Funding is a major issue but several grand applications are pending.

John Atkinson from Streetwise is doing a three-day, thirty county challenge in aid of Nightstop. This will involve either Surfing or Kite boarding on a beach in the 30 coastal counties of England and Wales. The planning for this is going well, but he does need a van. Ailsa asked if anyone had any ideas.


All is calm and mainly smooth at the moment. Business at the shop is gradually building up after the usual Christmas lull. They are still looking to replace the shop in Broadmead. The management of the homeless medical service will start on 1 April. This will include the H&ASH team, the SMART team, and Health Link workers at the Hub.

At the moment there are 18 beds but there will be some building work soon to make an extra two rooms.

Crisis Centre Ministries

The Mental Health training on Wednesday only had one person attend. It will be repeated on Saturday, 11 March. The training in April is Share Your Faith. It is on Saturday 8th April 9.45 am - 5 pm (please bring sandwiches) and three Wednesday evenings: 12, 19 and 26 April from 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm.

The new admin worker, Lucy, has settled in very well. The coffee shop is not open on Tuesday during the day, but is now open on Wednesday evenings, which are going well. The coffee shop was first opened at the start of March 20 years ago.

Paul asked for comments and suggestions on the meal voucher scheme the Crisis Centre offers. The voucher entitles a person to a good quality meal, pudding, and hot drink. The vouchers can be purchased from the Crisis Centre. A voucher is £1 with a book costing £5 for 5, which has not changed since the scheme started. Would it be unreasonable to put the price up? The actual cost of producing the meal is £3. It was agreed that it would not been unreasonable to charge more. Suggestions varied from £0.25 to a £1 increase. The voucher could be bigger to put more information on. Some discussion took place around the selling of the vouchers. They need to be re-advertised so more people are aware of them. It was suggested that the Crisis Centre contact the Galleries to see if the information stand could sell them.


The next meeting will be the AGM as April will be a year since the public launch. The theme of the AGM will be ‘working together’. There should be two speakers: someone from the Council’s Homelessness Consortium, and a representative from the Voluntary Sector. It should also be an opportunity for people from both sectors to find out about the work in the different areas. As a result, it would lead to better understanding of the key issues on both sides.

Steering Group

The Steering group met before the meeting.


There has often been a problem with agencies sharing information due to concerns around confidentiality. There needs to be an agreed system as often each agency has a different procedure and form. A common confidentiality agreement would be useful across the sector, and one idea is that clients could carry their own copy of their agreement, which would save time and paperwork. The idea of calling it a ‘passport’ rather than an ‘identity card’ was proposed because passports open doors. The scheme should offer better support to the people who need it most. The legal aspects would have to be investigated.

Meeting with Olly Alcock

Paul and Ailsa met with Olly the previous week. The steering group agreed to meet Olly every two months, the intention being to discuss how the voluntary and statutory sector could work closer together. This would also lead to a better understanding of what the Homeless Consortium does and how the voluntary sector can help them meet their agenda whilst not affecting our own work. It is important to build a good, trusting, and safe relationship between the two sectors, especially if this will help the people we work with.


Although there has been interest for a FareShare in Bristol a lead partner has not yet come forward. FareShare UK would help with the cost for the first year but after that it would cost around £100,000 a year to run.

It is hoped if a lead partner is found quickly the project could be ready by spring 2007. The next meetings about FareShare are 10 am Friday 10 March and 1 pm Friday 5 May, both at the YMCA office on the Central Trading Estate, just off the Bath Road.


Usual Documents

The usual documents were not, this time, made available for people to look at and pick up. However, they are still on the Homeless Forum Documents page of the BCAN web site: you can navigate from the BCAN home page (http://www.bcan.org.uk), or go directly to the page; they are also available from the Crisis Centre Ministries office at 12 City Road.

Future Meetings

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 11 May at The Candle Community Centre, Ashley Road, starting at 7:30pm. There will be a brief AGM, and elections to the Steering Group. The theme will be ‘working together’ and we will invite people from the Council’s Homeless Consortium to attend.


This page last updated: 8 June 2006
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