Support refugee event with Lord Dubs

oasis-foundation

Join Oasis on the 9th December to listen to Lord Dubs and show your support for refugees:

At Oasis we care passionately about every human being and recently had the privilege of running a safe house that gave sanctuary and security to young refugees who crossed the channel.  We are proud that the UK has been involved in the response to this crisis – but we believe more needs to be done.

The UK Government has pledged to provide sanctuary for a significant number of child refugees but this is now in doubt.

Join Oasis and Lord Dubs – former refugee and author of the amendment compelling Government to help refugees – to take a public stand for a compassionate solution to the crisis and to help the countless children still stranded near the beaches of France.

The event will be a chance to hear from Lord Dubs about what he believes the Government needs to do, to debate and discuss the issues and join together to show our support for refugees.

  • DATE: Friday 9th December 2016
  • TIME: 19.30 – 21.00
  • LOCATION: The Oasis Centre, London SE1 7QP

To book your free ticket, click here:

https://oasis.foundation/events/act-now-refugees-event-lord-dubs

‘Breakfast in a bag’ is a brilliant new simple initiative to support the homeless

A small gesture is all it takes to make a huge difference to the thousands of people sleeping rough everyday.  And that’s why one woman is asking you to donate just £3 so that a homeless person won’t go hungry tomorrow.

In a new initiative called ‘Breakfast in a Bag’, Michelle Clark, from Enfield, is handing out free, healthy breakfasts to London’s homeless.

Michelle told Metro.co.uk:

It dawned on me earlier this year that despite there being several soup kitchens feeding London’s homeless in the evenings, no one was providing breakfasts.

breakfast-in-a-bag-1For just £3, a homeless person will receive cereal or porridge, milk, fresh fruit, a cereal bar or similar, fruit juice and biscuits, together with disposable cutlery and a bowl.

According to figures released by Combined Homelessness Information Network (CHAIN), over 7,500 people slept on London’s streets in 2015.  This was a dramatic rise from the 3,673 in 2009/2010.

The simple but effective idea was started by Michelle earlier this month, but she’s actually been supporting the homeless and dogs living on the streets in London since 2010 with Off The Streets London.

She added:

‘I’ve helped several homeless people find permanent housing and I still keep in touch with most of them today.  I consider them to be my friends.’

The project is currently being funded by public donations with additional support from food manufacturers and supermarkets.

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At the moment, Michelle delivers most of the bags direct to the homeless herself but she does have a small team of volunteers who help host the popular Breakfast In A Bag ‘Brekkie Stations’ on Friday nights.

The projects has already got huge support on social media, where @breakfastinabag has more than 2,900 followers.  Amongst its supporters are comedians Al Murray and Reginald D Hunter, Ian Danter from national radio, actress Linda Robson, Labour MP Jess Phillips and BBC’s Nick Knowles.

Michelle said:

‘We rely heavily on donations, every pound buys a pot of porridge for someone or a couple of energy bars.

‘Quite simply the more donations we receive, however small, the more breakfasts I can hand over.

‘People are realising that by donating just £3 to us they’re buying a homeless person a healthy breakfast, all for the same price as a coffee and for much less than a pint!’

If you’d like to donate to Breakfast in a Bag, email: breakfastinabag@gmail.com.

Anna Chaplaincy to Older People

debbie-thrower-lay-canonIt was a priviledge at the Diocese of Winchester Synod Conference in my table group to be sitting next to Debbie Thrower who nationally co-ordinates Anna Chaplaincy.

Anna Chaplaincy came about through a local willingness among Christians in the Hampshire market town of Alton.  Working together, they recognised that more should be done for older people. A job specification was drawn up and a half-stipend post (20 hours/week) was advertised as a part-time chaplain to older people.

Debbie Thrower was appointed in January 2010 and the role was carved out from scratch. Following secured funding from an alternative source, the work evolved into Anna Chaplaincy – Debbie Thrower was the UK’s first Anna Chaplain and she has developed the blueprint.

Since 2014, the Anna Chaplaincy approach has been at the heart of BRF’s The Gift of Years initiative to resource the spiritual journey of older people. It is being offered more widely as a proven way for other churches to cherish the gifts of older people in their membership, and to develop their service among this age group, and their mission to those marginalised and spiritually impoverished in later life.

Anna Chaplaincy is now a tried-and-tested model with the potential to spread far and wide as it begins to be replicated elsewhere, and as churches and individuals, whether they live in a city, town or rural context, are increasingly asking whether Anna Chaplaincy might work in their context.

Check out this powerful video clip we watched at the conference on how this project can help in your community:

 

Woman wins year of free pizza, donates it to youth homeless centre

pizza

Hannah Spooner, a 19-year-old Detroit resident, was delighted to discover she and her boyfriend had won a year of free pizza after entering a raffle at Little Caesar’s.

But instead of keeping the pies for themselves, they donated them to Covenant House, a nonprofit that offers shelter, classes and three square meals a day to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.

Spooner told a local FOX affiliate that she always knew she’d donate the pizza if she won — even when her boyfriend asked her whether she’d keep just a couple of pizzas for herself.

She said:

“I just know there are other people out there who have nothing.  And I don’t think I should be eating a year’s worth of free pizza when there are people who go hungry at night.”

Use McDonald’s monopoly tokens to help the homeless

mcdonalds-monopoly

If you’re a keen visitor to McDonald’s, you’ll know about its recurring Monopoly promotion that runs in a number of countries across the globe. You’ll often get a free food voucher for a portion of fries or a McFlurry, but while you might be tempted to hoard them for future binges, perhaps donating them to the homeless is a better way of using them.

That’s what Matt Lawson from Melbourne in Australia proposed in a Facebook post on Monday:

matt-lawson-photography

McDonald’s is currently running the monopoly game and I’ve got an idea. If you win free food by purchasing food you would of bought anyway, why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate then yourself (Melbourne CBD, Fitzroy shelters etc).i did it today and if all of us do it together we can be part of a small change. FEEL FREE TO SHARE. #bethechange#monopolisecharity

“Why not put your tokens in a jar and take them to an area where you know there are people less fortunate then [sic] yourself,” he wrote. “I did it today and if all of us do it together we can be part of a small change.”

“I know it’s still consuming junk food, but it can teach our kids and ourselves a lesson in giving with no taking,” he said in a comment on the viral post.

What a simple idea to make a small difference in your community.

 

Refugees’ lifejackets have been turned into a ‘graveyard’ outside parliament

refugee-life-jacket-graveyard-1

More than 2,500 lifejackets that were actually worn by migrants who crossed from Turkey into Europe were placed in front of the U.K.’s Parliament today to raise further awareness about the global migrant and refugee crisis. The project was created by various charity and humanitarian groups to correspond with a meeting of world leaders at the U.N. to discuss the ongoing crisis.

This year alone so far, at least 3,212 refugees and migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.  Deaths are occurring more frequently this year than in 2015, according to the most recent figures reported by the International Organization for Migration.

refugee-life-jacket-graveyard

The installation — which was supported by refugee charities — intends to remind leaders of “the need for solidarity with refugees” and to encourage “international responsibility sharing”.

refugee-life-jacket-graveyard-2

Fight for Justice over the Olympics

The It’s a Penalty campaign harnesses the power of sport to protect children from exploitation and abuse around the world, and at major global sporting events.

Throughout the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, It’s a Penalty reached over 300 million people globally. There were 11,252 calls to the Brazilian national crisis line reporting child exploitation.

For the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games, they’re striving to do the same.

It’s a Penalty Informs, Equips, Educates, Spreads Awareness and Communicates about how to make a difference in the global community to protect these children.

Together we can put an end to it.

Cybercrime Workshop for Charities

Cybercrime_SaveTheDate

Please find a ‘Save the Date’ request, for a free Cybercrime Workshop aimed at helping smaller charities and voluntary organisations protect themselves against cybercrime attacks. This will be held on the morning of Thursday 10th November 2016 at St John’s House in Winchester.

 

If you are interested in attending, or would like any further information, please contact either rosie.taylor@actionhants.org.uk or marketing@hantscf.org.uk.

A learning opportunity from Tearfund

Our vision of God’s Kingdom coming here on earth includes a fair and sustainable world where all people can flourish, and creation is cared for.

To get there, we need a prophetic movement of people working for transformation in the way we live our daily lives, as well as political change on poverty, the environment and inequality. We believe the church is a crucial part of this movement, and so at Tearfund we’re working to enable more Christians to be part of this change.

Does this idea excite you? Would you like to come together with others to develop and hone your change-making skills?

We’re working together with Christian Aid, the URC and CAFOD to take a group of people on a year-long learning journey. It’ll start with a weekend retreat (in Manchester) on 16-17th July where we’ll be learning about community organising from the Centre for Theology and Community. Going forward from the retreat there will be support, coaching and regular input from Tearfund and from each other.

If you are interested in this, please email us (campaigns@tearfund.org) ASAP for more details. Please do also forward this email onto others you think might be interested.

Thanks,

Billie Anderson
Tearfund Campaigns

PS We’d also love to hear your stories of how you or your church are already part of this prophetic movement for change, do email them to us!

Kid President’s 2016 campaign aims to end child hunger

The European referendum isn’t the only campaign story you should be paying attention to this year — everyone’s favourite kid “politician” is speaking out about the big issues, too.

Robby Novak, better known as YouTube sensation Kid President, teamed up with ConAgra Foods and Feeding America to launch a new campaign Thursday focusing on child hunger in the United States.

The latest Kid President video showcases the Child Hunger Ends Here initiative, furthering his belief that kids “should focus on being more awesome, and not have to worry about their next meal.”

Novak and his brother-in-law, Brad Montague, created the Kid President video series to show how anyone, even kids, can create positive social change. Over the last five years, the pair has helped provide more than 500,000 meals to communities around the world.

Their partnership with ConAgra Foods, one of North America’s biggest packaged food companies, has specifically targeted child hunger in the U.S.

For every view and share of the video above between April 14 and May 9, ConAgra will donate the monetary equivalent of a meal to hunger relief organization Feeding America.

Montague said:

“I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had no clue there were so many families struggling with food insecurity here in the United States”.

He learned about the issue from young people during his own service learning program in 2009 — young girls showed him not only that there was a problem going on here, he says, but that there are also solutions.

Kid President 100000 meals

With the growth of the Kid President audience, Montague and Novak have been able to create a community that makes good things happen.

Montague describes their partnership with ConAgra Foods as more heartfelt and genuine than many brands and organizations he’s encountered.

Robert Rizzo, senior director of community investment at ConAgra:

“Committing to an issue as serious as child hunger is a constant challenge.  It’s promising to see results on an individual level when we hear from families whose lives have been changed as a result of ConAgra’s commitment.”

More people than ever use food banks in Britain today – and I’m one of them

As the Trussell Trust reveals that food bank usage is at record levels one user writes a first hand account of her experiences using one:

My designated food bank operates out of a nearby church and I feel a deep sense of shame and anxiety on the way there. I worry that someone I know locally will stop to chat and I will be exposed as broke and dependent on charity.

The food bank volunteers, however, are kind and solicitous. They introduce themselves, shake my hand, and invite me to sit in chairs thoughtfully grouped at conversational angles. I am not interrogated and nobody towers over me; I am grateful for the eye contact and empathy I receive in response to my tale of benefit delays, impoverishment and worries about the rent. I am offered tea, cake and cheerful conversation in the most welcoming tradition of the church. It feels as though the whole process has been carefully worked out in order to preserve my dignity and I am moved by this tenderness.

 

As I unpack my groceries, I am deeply grateful that there are good citizens out there who have a bit to spare. I am also deeply angry that it is up to the churches and charities to plug the gaps left by a welfare state that seems to be creaking under sustained ideological pressure in one of the world’s richest countries. I feel guilty that my poverty is nothing compared to the suffering of those in developing nations or walking the roads of hostile Europe seeking refuge from war. And I am thankful that I have enough to eat for a while longer and that I will live to fight another day.

 

Save our Children’s Centres & Early Help Hubs

I have been involved in the campaign against cuts to our children’s centres and early help hubs in Hampshire, partly through my role as the Chair of the New Forest East Children’s Centre Partnership Board, and as a member of the New Forest Early Help Hub as a local children’s and youth worker.

How can you join the campaign?

Most importantly please add your views to the Consultation that Hampshire County Council are running.  If you’re not sure how best to respond, read the New Forest East Cluster Children’s Centre Partnership Board’s advice for completing the Consultation Questionnaire.

Please also sign the petition to save the Hampshire Children’s Centres.

The Challenge

New Forest Children's CentreHampshire County Council is asking for the views of service users, other stakeholders and members of the public, on a proposed new Family Support Service for families with children aged 0–19 years (or up to age 25 for young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities).

The theory of a 0-19 united service is a positive move, and one that has been developing over the last few years through the way professionals have been working closer together.

Worryingly though the proposal includes the closing of 43 Children’s Centres, and reducing the current staffing levels (currently 300 employees) for the Children’s Centres and the Early Help Hub by 60%.

The context is clearly driven by economic challenges: the County Council must meet a funding shortfall of £98 million by April 2017, and of this, the Council have decided that £21.5 million must be met from the Children’s Services budget.  These proposals for changes to Children’s Centres and Early Help Hubs total £8.5 million of savings.


What are Children’s Centres & Early Help Hubs?

Introduced 17 years ago by the Labour government as Children's Centre 1Sure Start, children’s centres are designed to help parents in the community, providing a central hub for activities for under 5s, early education, health and family support. They have faced heavy cuts as a result of dwindling council budgets and hundreds have closed over the past five years, either by shutting down entirely or through mergers.

The Early Help Hub is a more recent innovation that came as a result of The Munro Review of Child Protection which argued a moral argument, a timing argument (now or never) to put right the problems in early years support; and an economic argument that early help hub was cost effective.