BCAN (Bristol Christian
Helping Christians Respond To Social Needs
Bristol Homeless Forum
We (the people we help) are being ofered financial advice by two groups.
Richard Hill is offering volunteers from the Civil Service to help people with employability skills such as job interviews. He can deliver a large number of volunteers for one-off sessions, but there needs to be a reasonable number of people being helped.
St Mungo's have made use of his services, so if you want to know more you could talk to them.
From Jane Carter:
My efforts to link Greggs with the Salvation Army came to nothing. Because of the services they provide (mainly hot food, cooked from donations from a couple of supermarkets) they don't need or want Greegs' surplus food.
They did, however, give me the names of a couple of organisations so I sent them the form from Greggs and the email address of the lady who signs off the request. I spoke to her yesterday and she has received a number of applications for food donations.
So far, she has only managed to start processing two - St Mungo's Men's Crisis Centre and the Women's hostel. Neither application specifies the shop that the donations will be collected from. Therefore, to ensure a speedy result the following process should be followed:
Please can you update forum members on the process Greggs has in place as if followed correctly, it'll speed up the donation of surplus food.
As Nuala processes more requests and more donations take place- I'll update you.
Now for Neighbourly.com. I met with William Troughton from Neighbourly on Monday. Their focus is on matching businesses to a range of charities and voluntary organisations and one of the areas they work on is helping food retailers donate surplus food.
Following a pilot they now link Marks and Spencer's food halls with charities across the country. They currently have 3 Bristol stores signed up and hope to expand to 5 shortly. Recipients of the Bristol stores include the Bristol NW Food Bank, Matthew Tree, Upper Horfield community trust and the Southern Brooks Community Cafe.
They may have capacity for increasing their recipient count and today I've introduced St Mungo's to Neighbourly. I asked William if he is interested in attending the meeting and this is something he is happy to consider in the future when the scheme is more embedded.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of food Neighbourly is donating: since the nationwide launch there has been 900 donations, 27 tonnes of food distributed and 105 charities benefitting from the scheme.
Housing and Homelessness
From Paul Hazelden:
Following on from the meetings on Refugees and Asylum Seekers, the next Christian Action Bristol Prayer and Planning meeting will focus on Housing and Homelessness. It will be at City Road Baptist Church on Wednesday 20 January, from 12.30 to 2 pm.
We know there is a serious housing problem in Bristol, so we are seeking to understand three key questions.
As before, we will be providing hot drinks and sandwiches, so please register to let us know if you plan to be with us. The event will be free, but we would be grateful if you were able to make a contribution towards the food and the cost of organising these events.
The plan is that concerned people get together to share what they know, to pray about the issue, and to consider what they (and the churches and organisations they belong to) can do about it. We also make time for a general sharing of news, concerns and prayer requests.
There are more details on the FAB web site and a 'framework document' which describes something of the scope of the problem and which I plan to update if people give me more information before the meeting.
Please feel free to invite other people, especially if they have some involvement or interest in the area – or let me know their details and I will invite them. Thank you.