Circle of hope

As I have been sharing recently, I have been touched by the hands of hope in our community, who have reached out to others. So today I want to discuss this in more detail.

There was an article in our local newspaper asking for help for our foodbank. And the help has literally poured in; offers of support for our befriending service, offers of donations and practical help. This to me is a circle of hope.

We have people approaching us who have nothing and people who are kindly giving items for redistribution, lovely items which can make someone’s day. And this for me is how society should be; those of us privileged to have excess, giving away to those who do not.

Redistribution is a simple concept, with far reaching consequences. It thrills me to see people visit us wearing the items they have taken from the rail. I feel that it is about offering hope, because let’s face it, it is lovely to have nice new things and many people are not able to afford charity shop proces, being barely able to afford food, as our sixty daily visitors for food parcels each Tuesday and Thursday highlight.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider redistribution. Do we have items we do not need? Can we give them to someone else. Homeless men love rucksacks and socks and boxer shorts, because they cannot easily access washing machines. So maybe consider a Christmas box for a vulnerable person this year. Just a athought, you may like to give money to a charity. Or even set up a free clothes rail. I read of an amazing project in Glasgow, where people put coats around trees for people to take.

May we all do our part to create a circle of hope in this world X

The Isle of Thanet News article: September 4 2020 Kathy Bailes

The Community Project at Union Church in Margate has been working alongside Margate Independent Food Bank to offer a clothes bank service.

The project supports vulnerable adults in the Thanet community particularly those with learning difficulties or mental health issues. But covid-19 has meant indoor activities are currently postponed.

In the meantime project manager Melody Wimhurst has set up the clothes bank, including household goods, which runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.15am to 1pm outside the church (Union Row entrance).

She said: “We also help our homeless community by putting them in touch with housing and those who can assist. We offer support in many ways and try and have a holistic approach. It isn’t just about offering the clothes, it is giving hope.

“It is all done outside, so it is safe, and we run alongside the independent food bank.

“This week we provided someone with a stroller, children’s clothes, pots and pans. Donations are needed, particularly for men’s clothes as most of those who are homeless and coming to us for clothes and food are men.”

On Thursday morning the neighbouring food bank gave out more than 60 parcels. A steady stream of people also visited the clothes bank.

Melody says she desperately needs donations, a clothes rail and volunteers who can help her sort through the clothes that are given.

The project also needs volunteers for its befriending service, aimed at helping people who are suffering poor mental health.

She said: “We do telephone befriending and socially distanced walks together to help isolated and vulnerable people.”

Referrals for the befriending service are made through agencies such as Porchlight.

Donations can be made to the clothes bank during its opening hours.

Moving on with hope

As many of you may be aware, I run a community project and the aim is to offer hope to the community. Let’s explore how we can help our community to move on from difficult times.

These are the principles which I adhere to in running the project I work in.

Abundance; people can have as much as they like. If someone wants six t-shirts, then they can have six t-shirts if they are there to take. I give away what I have got in the hope that more will come in. And in that way nobody goes away feeling short changed

Offering a listening ear. I also run a befriending service, which is for lonely and isolated people. It is amazing how many people are alone and in need of someone just to ask how they are getting on.

Be kind. Showing kindness and respect to all is vital. People may be drug or alcohol users, but they are given the same respect as everyone else.

Give for nothing. There is a great deal of social deprivation in the area where I live and many people cannot survive on benefits. They may go hungry to feed their children. It is important to give free items of food and clothing. Some people give a donation, but it doesn’t matter if they do not, or even give a tiny amount.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider your community and how to move forward with hope. Sir Captain Tom Moore united the nation of Britain with his wonderful walking, clapping for the NHS united the nation too. These things are so important. Consider whether you can offer your time to do something in the community, such as voluntary work, or even just bake a cake for someone, or offer to do shopping for somebody.

Let’s keep moving forward together X

Making a difference in lockdown

I have the privilege of co-coordinating a community project for vulnerable adults. When the lockdown first happened I wondered how on earth we could support our wonderful service users, because we used to meet in groups and share meals together.

However this pandemic has taught us all how to reach out even in lockdown. So, even though we are in isolation, it is possible to still support people, albeit in a very different way.

Today’s post is to share how the community project I work for is trying to make a difference. So today, my dear mum made a lovely chocolate birthday cake for someone we call every day and has become an additional family member. We dropped this off and mum and I sang happy birthday from a safe distance. Our wonderful small team spoke to others on the telephone.

We have been giving food away and supporting hospital appointments. And having lots of chats. And giving jigsaws and paints to people, to help pass the day.

I write this, because, even though we are in lockdown, we can all play our part. And we can play our part by asking for help if we need it so that others can be blessed by offering that help in return. The ebb and flow of human kindness across the world.

Thank you to all of the blog followers who help others. And followers who are struggling, please reach out because other people are there for you. In the UK there are many support groups available.

So today’s recipe of hope is to be pleased with yourself if you have requested help and to congratulate yourself if you are giving help, especially working for the NHS or as a key worker; for example a truck driver or refuse collector . And please repeat after me: ‘it’s Friday and it’s great to be me’.