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Bristol Homeless Forum
BHF News - 12 May 2016


Notified Business

Christian Action Bristol

Manifesto and Hustings

Feedback from the Christian Manifesto for Bristol has been very encouraging. It can be downloaded from the web site, and paper copies are still available from Paul. A number of people have said they would like to see an updated version of the Manifesto which covers much the same ground but is not tied in to the 2016 Mayoral elections. If you would like to be involved in this work please let Paul know.

Feedback from the Hustings was also encouraging, and the event generated a great deal of unplanned publicity.

Prayer & Planning

The 'Prayer & Planning' meetings at City Road Baptist Church have continued to happen each month on Wednesday lunchtimes from 12.30 pm to 2 pm, with hot drinks and a light lunch being provided.

The latest of these was a very successful 'Youth Forum' on 11 May, with speakers including Pastor Ray Viera from the Church of God of Prophecy and Kurt James from the local Neighbouorhood Forum.

A great deal of useful information and insight was provided, and the meeting agreed to continue the discussion and exploration of what the churches can do at the next theme meeting on 13 July – also at City Road Baptist Church from 12.30 pm to 2 pm.

The next Prayer & Planning meeting will be on Wednesday 8 June, with an open theme: everyone is welcome to come and share their interests and concerns so that we can pray for each other.

Information Share

Caring in Bristol

Caring in Bristol is delighted to announce the imminent launch of three new projects to improve the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol.

If anyone is interested in helping with these new projects in any way, or can suggest a suitable venue for the Helping Hounds project, please contact Marianne Swift at Caring in Bristol on 0117 924 4444.

In other news, CiB has recently appointed a further trustee, Nick Oakley-Smith; we continue to advertise for new trustees from all backgrounds who can bring relevant expertise to the charity.

CiB has also applied to become a member of the Bristol Supported Housing Forum, a multi-partner forum which is coordinated by St Mungos.

Side by Side

Side by Side is a mentoring and befriending project for homeless and ex-homeless people, some of whom have experienced mental health problems or have been dependent on drugs/alcohol.

Our mentors provide companionship to people, helping them to improve their well-being, self-confidence and independence, and reduce social isolation.

Our Mentors are individually matched with people, providing one-to-one mentoring for a couple of hours a week with the aim of building positive relationships, empowering people and increasing motivation.

We are currently advertising for volunteers – closing date 30 June 2016. Induction training, ongoing support and expenses will be provided.

For more information, please visit www.voscur.org/jobs/88233.

Growing for Bristol

Growing for Bristol is an urban gardening and allotment project which is being developed in partnership with the YMCA and Salvation Army. It will provide opportunities for charity volunteers, staff and the people who use our services to work alongside each other growing food for Caring at Christmas and other projects that feed vulnerable and homeless people in Bristol. A press release will be issued shortly and we aim to start recruiting volunteers by the end of May 2016.

Helping Hounds

Helping Hounds is a volunteer driven project involving vets and veterinary nurses who want to support homeless dog owners to have better access to expert advice about their animals and better access to housing experts and support workers. We are working in partnership with the RSPCA and St Mungos to make this project a reality and are seeking a suitable venue for the project to begin in June 2016.

Wild Goose, Crisis Centre Ministries

Important Notice – Changes in the Wild Goose from Wednesday 4 May 2016.

Opening and Closing Times

The changes in opening and closing times are as follows:

Day time

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – opening at 10:30am through to close at 3pm.
  • Tuesday – closed all day. Deep clean in the morning and Wet Clinic from 2pm through to 4pm.


  • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – opening at 8pm through to close at 10pm.

Meal Serving Times

The changes in meal serving times are as follows:

Day time

  • Breakfast – 10:30am to 11:30am.
  • Lunch – 12:30pm to 1:30pm.


  • Evening meal – 8pm to 9:45 pm.

Reason for change

The decision has been made, following over six months of reflection and prayer, to bring the Wild Goose Drop-in Centre back into line with the original vision from its founder, Derek Groves.

The Wild Goose originated as a coffee shop, where people were invited to receive spiritual support through listening and prayer; and practical support over a hot/cold drink and maybe a cake. Over time, the Wild Goose now provides 500-600 plates of food a day and is recognised for the food it provides to those in need in the city of Bristol. This has created a challenge in being able to provide the listening, prayer and practical support.

A restructuring exercise has been taking place since December 2015, the purpose of which is to readdress the balance in providing spiritual and practical needs for those who come to the Wild Goose. This has resulted in the changes to opening and closing times, meal serving times and the staff team. Katy Gough has been appointed the 'Deputy Manager for Provision' and Esther Lambert has been appointed the 'Deputy Manager for Engagement'. Sadly Karen Robinson has moved on from Crisis Centre Ministries and I know that many appreciated her as a staff team member and will miss her. We wish Karen every blessing for her future.

Where there is change, there is need for a transition period, and we trust that you will be patient as we all adjust over the forthcoming months.

Updates and further communications will follow and constructive feedback is welcome.


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