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Helping Churches Respond To Social Needs

BHF Notes:
13 July 2006


Homeless Forum
Caring at Christmas
13 July 2006


Everyone present was welcomed to the meeting.

Those Present

Ailsa McWilliam (Caring at Christmas), Paul Hazelden (Crisis Centre Ministries), Val Moore (Christ Church, Clifton and CTiCC&R), Ian Mountford (Salvation Army Candle Community Centre) and Graham Wheeler (Bristol Soup Run Trust), Anni Davey (Crisis Centre Ministries) and Dave Perry (Emmaus)

Apologies Received

Barry Penn (Bristol Methodist Centre), Paul Tipler (Aspire), Julian Marsh (BCAN), John Atkinson (Bristol City Council) Julie Griffiths (Julian Trust), Steve Griffiths (Julian Trust), Olly Alcock (Bristol City Council), Betty Weir, Richard MacKay

Previous Meeting

Julie gave invites for the Julian Trust events prior to the meeting.

The meal vouchers can be bought from the Crisis Centre by either telephoning or sending a cheque to The Crisis Centre, 21 City Road, Bristol, BS2

The Salvation Army has now signed for the new shop but is awaiting the keys. It will not be open before September.

Caring at Christmas is still looking into the Drugs and the Law Training. People will be informed when dates have been confirmed.

Information Share

Churches Together in Clifton, Cotham & Redland

There will be a 25 year celebration on the 19th November. Val will bring details to the next meeting. It will take place in the afternoon; there will be a panel, speakers, tea, and a service. The numbers at the Saturday lunch run dropped after December but have increased over the last few months. There have been no problems and they hope to keep going through August.

Christ Church

There is a lot of new staff starting. The breakfast run is going well.


It is quite and calm there is a good atmosphere among the companions. They are about to embark on sailing training with the Royal Yacht association. The companions took part in the British Heart Foundation walk round the docks, it all went well.

The business has been going really well the previous Monday saw the shop take £1000 in one day! They are looking at a shop in Yate. The idea is this will initially be served by Bristol. Over time this will develop into a workshop and storage and eventually will see a small house and self supporting community. This will take place over several years.

Emmaus took over the Homeless Health Service with the Westbury-on-Trym practice on 1st April. There is a lot of work involved linking in the H&ASH team, the SMART team, and the health link workers at the Hub. The idea is to pull the three teams together to make one effective team. The service will eventually be based at Jamaica Street when the Assessment Centre is completed. The service will have more comprehensive records and it should lead to a better service for the clients.

Caring at Christmas

The new edition of the Survival Handbook is out now

Nightstop is going well. There are several new hosts who should be ready to start soon. It is still hoped to recruit more hosts. If anyone can put a poster up please contact Ailsa.

Medina Johnson will take over as Chair on the 1st August. Caring at Christmas is looking for new Trustees. Anyone interested should contact the office (0117 924 4444).

Bristol Soup Run Trust

The Soup Run is going out every night. Prêt-a-Manger is giving the Soup Run sandwiches and this is working well. The financial difficulties have improved. They were awarded £350 from the Miss Millie’s Good Neighbours Awards. An application has been submitted to the collection box scheme. There are new trustees in place and the Treasurer is working hard. Numbers vary but on Thursdays and Sundays they are very high.

Candle Community Centre

Logos House - Annie Babb has returned from maternity leave.

Candle Community Centre - The drop-in attendance has been around 60-80, which is reasonable. Sunday lunches have seen 100 people. The drop-in has been streamlined to Tuesdays and Thursday. They are in need of more volunteers. The shop is still waiting to open.

Julian Trust

It is still very busy. A lot of people are using the shelter, a small percentage of which are multi-ethnic. Invites are going out to volunteers, supporters, and organisations for the events recognising the work of the Julian Trust over the last 20 years. There will also be an ‘Open Doors’ day on Saturday 23 September, 12 - 4 pm at the Shelter on Little Bishop Street.

Crisis Centre Ministries

People from the Crisis Centre took part in the One25 fun run. The Crisis Centre team dressed as pirates and walked backwards for 1 km!

The centre is still struggling with its finances. There is a problem with the roof. They are also looking for new Trustees. It is a struggle to open every day. Tuesdays are going well but on Thursdays the Wild Goose will probably have to open very other week. There are enough volunteers in the evenings, and the staff are managing to work with more individuals.

Paul circulated details of the changes to the Avon and Wiltshire NHS Mental Health Partnership Trust. The 7 day a week service can be contacted on 0117 955 2616

Julian Trust

The Night shelter is busy in the evenings. Sandwiches will be handed out for two nights in July, as they have to close for heating repairs.

Invites have been sent out for people to attend the events marking 21 years of the Julian Trust. All Homeless Forum members are welcome but they do need to know numbers in advance.

Street Count

Paul had a meeting with Hywel Caddy (BCC) who expressed concerns about our idea for an unofficial street count. This was followed up by an e-mail and phone call. Bristol gets around £720,000 each year from the government to address the homelessness need in the city. Any suspicion about whether we are achieving the target set by the government of 10 rough sleepers could put this money in jeopardy. The council is concerned that if a higher figure came out publicly, this could be misleading. They are very supportive of the exercise in terms of finding out about the size of the homeless problem and the issues surrounding homelessness.

The irony of the count is that the more people the council find on the night of the official street count the less money they receive. They are keen to support a research into how many homeless people there are, what needs they have, where do they sleep etc. A study several years ago look at the complex needs of this group. However this only covered statistics from the statutory services. A follow up study could also involve the voluntary sector. The research should not be linked to the street count and should take place at a different time of year. As the street count normally takes place around November early February might be a more suitable time.

If this research were to go ahead it would be a significant piece of work. It has potential to show how services should be planned in Bristol. It could also highlight to central government how complex the issues are. The facts and figures are needed for this work to back up the findings. It must be separate from the council but should have their approval and backing. It should not say the Street Count is wrong, but it should highlight the need.

There was some concern that the council would try to discredit the findings or try to present the work in a manner that was neither fair, nor honest.

Usual Documents

The usual documents were made available for people to look at and pick up. These are listed 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 at http://www.bcan.org.uk/bhf/l2_homeless_docs.html; they are also available from the Crisis Centre Ministries office at 12 City Road.


It was agreed to include details of some of the key web sites in the meeting motes.

Future Meetings

Details of the next two meeting are as follows. All meetings will start at 7:30 pm and aim to finish by 9:30.

14 September at Christ Church, Clifton (entrance through the church and down into the crypt).

9 November at The Candle Community Centre, Ashley Road (entrance on corner of Brigstocke Road).


This page last updated: 11 September 2006
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