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.