Thinking of Others Triggers a Chain Reaction of Kindness

Most people have felt the effects of the Corona virus pandemic, not least of all Chiqiuto – The Restaurant Group who sadly made the decision to close their branches in Bournemouth and Poole. Despite their personal loss, the owners have tried to make the most of helping others who are in need. They contacted Faithworks to make a generous donation of frozen meat and food, as well as catering and kitchen equipment, cleaning products, stationery and a much-needed hoover to The Storehouse project run by BCARS.

The initial donation triggered a chain reaction of kindness: The Storehouse divided the donations meat and chips into family packs for lone parent families across BCP, currently supported by SMILE. Twelve families were helped and very grateful. The Storehouse also directed food donations to Poole Waste Not Want Not. Elaine Lawford, manager of Waste Not Want Not stated, “The food we had donated has helped, and will help, feed about 200 families and people from all walks of life over the period of a month.”

The Storehouse team were thanked by Poole Waste Not Want Not with a donation of 55 kilos of apricots. Half of the apricots were then delivered to Wimborne Foodbank and passed on to  The Friendly Food Club. They used the apricots to make a crumble as part of the 150 plus meals given out weekly to residents in need in Wimborne through the Foodbank and the Allendale Centre.  The other half of the apricots went to Christchurch Foodbank who split it between adding the fresh fruit to their food parcels and making apricot crumble as part of their hot meal provision for local vulnerable people. Christchurch Foodbank have been giving out 88 hot meals per week since the end of April.

As one team member of The Storehouse said, “This was a good opportunity to help us and others in the community.” Even in the most difficult times, thinking of others reaps great benefits.

Thank you Chiquito for thinking of us at this time, we wish you all the best for the future. Your kindness is much appreciated.
David Chidwick
BCARS Homelessness Projects Manager

Adapting Our Services, Staying Connected

Still Working Alongside

We have all been affected by the Corona virus pandemic, not least of all rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The Team at BCARS have viewed this time as an opportunity to adapt our services and be creative in how we provide continuing support to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Working together with local churches, charities and BCP Council, we have made the following changes.


We are now running a telephone helpline offering support to those who may be on the street, are vulnerably housed, or just need a little encouragement during this stressful time. People can ring us on 07842 174241 between 9 am and 1 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Buddies Telephone Service

Many of us have felt the strain of isolation during the pandemic and can sympathise with rough sleepers who are coming off the streets into a room of their own, sometimes with no family or friends to talk to.  continue to help people. Our Buddies teams offer a person-centred approach of support, encouragement and friendship. Small groups of buddy teams stay in contact with the people we help through telephone calls and texts and a listening ear.

The Storehouse

Our Storehouse project has seen the most significant adjustment to its purposes during Covid-19. Staff have been busy liasing with multiple organisations… local community meal providers, churches, BCP council and many more in the wider community to receive donations and packed lunches for those who have been recently housed. The Storehouse project has centralised provision of lunches and 3, 5 or 7-day meal packs as well as clothing and ad-hoc laundry services.

Purpose and Training

We continue to look at creative ways to support people with online training and are currently looking at how we can make our Carpenters’ Workshop and Training Kitchen Covid-secure.


Our Invite to You This Christmas

Helping Rough Sleepers at Christmas

Our Christmas Invitations

At this time of year many will think about helping those who still find themselves on our streets. Here is a list of events you can attend to support our work and help more rough sleepers in our town!


30th November

Alternative Christmas Market

Gives details of the date and time of the Alternative Christmas Market

Buy a gift at this year’s Alternative Christmas Market, hosted by St. Michael’s Church, Poole Road, BH2 5QU between 10 am and 3 pm. Our 2nd Half Carpenters’ Workshop will have many products on sale from ex-rough sleepers… from Christmas trees to candle-holders to planters. Some of this year’s Sleepsafe guests also joined the production line with special Christmas workshop days, so why not come along and encourage those who a seeking a better future?

4th December

Unising Concert

Gives Details of Concert Day and Time

The Wednesday Group at Victoria Park Methodist Church, 22 Jameson Rd, Bournemouth BH9 2QF warmly welcome everyone to attend a concert by Unising in aid of Sleepsafe. The concert will be held at the church on Wednesday, 4th December at 7 pm.

8th December

Carols for the People

Gives details for the Carol Concert

The Winton Salvation Army bands and choirs will hold 2 performances of ‘Carols for the People’ with special guest performance by the Dorset Police Male Voice Choir. Tickets are free but collections will be taken for their chosen charity, Sleepsafe. You can join the carol performances at either 2pm or 6pm at the church in Latimer Road.

Tickets are available through the church office, call 01202 517989


14th & 20th December

Tesco’s (Fleetsbridge)

Meet the BCARS elves (team members) at Tesco’s this Christmas and help the rough sleepers we support in Sleepsafe. Come and learn more about how you can make a difference to those in need this Christmas at Tesco’s, Waterloo Rd, Poole BH17 7EJ.

BCARS 24/7 Prayer

We believe in prayer and want to seek God’s wisdom, power, grace and mercy to impact the lives of those who are sleeping on our streets. We have invited Pete Greig, the instigator of the 24/7 Prayer movement to ‘kick-off’ our very own 24/7 Prayer Week initiative here in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, starting on Friday 8th November 2019.

Initially starting with our Sleepsafe Mission 2019/20, we are hosting an impactive evening of prayer on Friday, 8th November at 7 pm at St. Alban’s Church, Bournemouth, BH9 1DW. Chaos Curb will be leading worship.


If you believe in prayer and want to really seek God to impact our community now and in the future… you can join our 24/7 Prayer week. It’s only an hour… with massive impact. Get involved, be part of God’s restoration programme.


Sleepsafe Commissioning Service 2019

Collage of images from BCARS church service

In its fifth year providing a safe place to sleep and support for rough sleepers getting off the streets, BCARS held a Sleepsafe commissioning service at All Saints Church for teams of volunteers and staff, church leaders and partner agencies. Coming together, an opportunity was given to ask God for His protection and oversight over the six month Sleepsafe Mission 2019 – 2020. The team asked that God would enable and equip everyone involved and recognised they can’t do this work without His help and sought His Strength, Spirit, Wisdom and Love for the Churches, Staff, Volunteers and our Guests.

Peter Rouch, the Archdeacon of Bournemouth preached about allowing Jesus to give us new glasses to “see as He sees”, both in terms of the needs but also in terms of the treasure in people (that may be hidden by crisis or years of pain). Time was given to celebrate lives changed in the past through the Sleepsafe Mission.

Last winter Sleepsafe involved 25 Churches and 344 volunteers, provided 1500 meals over 5 months and helped 48 guests get off our streets! The teams are looking forward to more lives finding hope for the future and thriving off the streets.

Sleepsafe Skydive Fundraiser

June Adams, skydiving fundraiser for BCARS, with Alistair, our CEO

On 22nd June, the amazing June Adams took to the skies to celebrate her 86th birthday.

We are so grateful that June used her skydive as an opportunity to help raise much needed funds for our work with rough sleepers. What a brave and compassionate woman!

To date, June has raised over £1100 to support Sleepsafe, our project where local churches work together and open up their doors to provide a safe place to sleep while our team provide support to access services and get into more secure accommodation.

If anyone would like to contribute to the funds already raised, they can donate using this link:

A message from June herself:

‘Appreciating the great contribution Faithworks has made to improving the lives of homeless people, and knowing how much I have been thankful for I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity to support Faithworks to continue their vital work [with] the vulnerable people of Bournemouth.’

Celebrating 15 Years with Faithworks

People celebrating the 15th Birthday of FaithworksWessex

Where would 150 business leaders, councillors, town pastors, carers, lone parents, volunteers, ex-rough sleepers, church ministers and health professionals meet in one room?

…at Faithworks’ 15th birthday celebrations!

Teams walked from 15 venues, associated with Faithworks’ activities, and met at Key West Restaurant, Bournemouth Pier for breakfast. Each venue was left a lit ‘Hope’ sign.

On hearing the stories of Hope, the Mayor, Councillor Susan Phillips remarked ‘I am so grateful for the work of organisations like Faithworks’.

While everyone enjoyed a cooked breakfast, the team told stories of how light is coming into lives across our area… as people are fed in their crisis, but then get out of debt, recover from homelessness and addiction, and re-engage with their communities.

Alistair Doxat-Purser, the Chief Executive of Faithworks said:

“We called this event ‘lighting up our towns’ to recognise that over the past 15 years, people of goodwill have been helping those around them get out of dark places of despair and finding new hope – it’s a visual demonstration of ‘love your neighbour’. Even the smallest thing has an impact. From age 6 to 86 years old, we can all be light-bringers!”

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 15 years