At the start of September, we were looking forward to a phased reopening of our office and it felt as though we could be edging back towards ‘normality’. However as new restrictions have come into play this week, all that has changed.
Over the summer, our work has continued apace. Since the start of June we have provided accommodation for 81 people. This number includes our 7 newest clients who were supported to move safely into our accommodation during the summer, despite the restrictions and challenges of social distancing.
We’ve continued to offer 1:1 support through phone calls, texts and Zoom calls. We’ve liaised with solicitors, opticians, doctors and therapists. We’ve worked alongside clients as they’ve applied for benefits, looked for new jobs, started new social activities and classes and much more.
We know this past 6 months has been challenging but we have been blown away by the kindness and generosity of so many people during this time. We’ve received donations of toiletries, hand knitted blankets, a sewing machine, some beautiful make up and pamper sets and much more. Thank you so much!
We often get calls and emails from people asking how they can best help us at this time, so we hope you don’t mind if we share our current wish list! If you are able to help with any of these items, please contact Lisa by sending her an email.
- Harvest donations: we usually receive tonnes of wonderful donations of fresh food and other groceries at this time of year. Although we're not running our monthly Free Shop at the moment, we are doing monthly deliveries to each of our houses. Read more about this here. You could also check out our standard food and toiletries shopping list here or donate to our #HarvestGift fund here.
- Face masks / coverings (ideally reusable but also disposable)- these are always in demand for all our clients!
- Hand gel (small or large bottles)- vital for our clients who have no income and are unable to buy their own.
- Laptops: we know this is a big ask, but we have a number of refugee clients who are currently struggling to do everything they need to online with their smartphones. This might include job or benefit applications, applications for housing, online college classes and more. If you have a decent working laptop that you no longer need, please get in touch!
- General donations towards our vital ongoing work: we’ve been extremely fortunate to receive some grant funding during this season which has thankfully covered a lot of our new costs as we try and make sure we are working well remotely and in a Covid-secure way. Although we have made changes to the way we work, we haven’t reduced our services due to the pandemic. We still have a full staff team (all working at full capacity to serve and support over 70 current clients), and we still have 22 houses and our rented office with all the bills and costs to pay! We so appreciate every gift that has been given, and we are especially thankful to those who have signed up to make a regular donation- no matter how big or small. Could you stand with us as we look ahead to the future and try to make plans in these uncertain times?