We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to the Captain Tom Foundation for allowing us to raise funds for BCARS and honour his legacy during the #CaptainTom100 weekend. We chose to tell 100 jokes over the weekend to help lift each other’s spirits while raising funds for the work we do helping the homeless in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Monies from this fundraiser will go to support our Trainee Aspiration Pot (TAP) which helps support our trainees achieve their aspirations, such as supplying tools for self-startups, rent deposits and IT equipment. If you would like to contribute, go to https://localgiving.org/fundraising/CaptainTom100Jokes/
A new housing model has been launched across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Hope into Action is a national charity that enables investors to buy houses for the homeless. The key to this model is that every house is supported by a local church who provide support and friendship to the tenants such as assistance with paperwork and budgeting skills, eating meals or watching a film together.
Faithworks, in partnership with Hope into Action, have launched the franchise for this model across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and are looking to oversee more investment to buy more homes. The keys have been collected for the first home and the aim is to welcome the first tenants shortly after Easter! Support will be provided by a team from Coastline Vineyard Church. Beth, one of the team leaders, explained: “We are so excited to be a part of this movement that is changing lives in such a valuable, radical way… The change this will make to those moving in is incredible and such a wonderful thing to be a part of, giving people value and hope.”
Every house is linked with a local church for support as part of the 5-year leasing scheme. Churches are supported in turn by an Empowerment Worker who coordinates the links between the tenants and the church and ensures that things run smoothly.
David Chidwick, Faithworks’ Homelessness Projects Manager, explained: “The journey off the streets can be quite long and hard. There’s more to having a home than just having a room. In these houses we are hoping that our tenants will feel safe, experience friendship, have a purpose and ideally feel at home.”
This is clearly a national issue – the Archbishop of Canterbury has recently spoken about a good home being “Safe, Stable, Sustainable, Sociable, Satisfying”. So, we want to play our part by helping people to move on from temporary accommodation and settle in to a home. We are doing this alongside a wide programme of support run by Faithworks including “StaySafe” and work skills projects like the carpentry workshop and the gardening team.
The aim is to purchase another house in Poole within the next few months – this is an opportunity to invest in a new and innovative way. We are looking for investors to support this exciting opportunity. If you or someone you know is interested, you can call David Chidwick to discuss this at Faithworks’ office on: 01202 429037.
Many people may be wondering ‘What is happening with Sleepsafe this year?’ With social distancing regulations in place due to Covid-19, Sleepsafe is unable to be hosted by churches this winter. In previous years, Sleepsafe supported rough sleepers trying to access accommodation and local services with temporary beds in multiple churches in the local area.
Sleepsafe was a very effective programme, which has helped 200 of people off the streets over the last 5 years. There are plans to reopen once social distancing restrictions are lifted. Sleepsafe was well-supported with over 300 of volunteers providing a real sense of family and community within every church that made space for rough sleepers to sleep and build friendships. In 2020, some ex-Sleepsafe guests formed a lived-experience group called ‘Streetvoice’ to help shape the work of BCARS.
What happens now?
Throughout Sleepsafe, three important needs for rough sleepers were identified: to have purpose, activity and friendship. All of these are crucial to help those coming off the streets to stay off the streets and move into a place of thriving, not just surviving. Out of this need, a new and innovative project, Staysafe, has been created.
What is Staysafe?
Staysafe is a new and innovative project offering daytime support for people who have gotten off the streets and are in emergency or temporary accommodation. We deliver purpose, activity, and friendship at a church venue througout Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. We welcome ex-rough sleepers who want to be active and feel that they have purpose. The overall aim is for our guests to get connected to community where they can build healthy and forward-looking relationships. Individuals have opportunities to improve their situation, to keep from returning to the streets and find a way out of just surviving to thriving in life.
How do those on the streets get help?
The important message for those who are rough sleeping is that help is available. Every person who finds themselves on the streets is a valued part of our community and there are many people across BCP who care and want to help. The St. Mungo’s Rough Sleepers Team can be contacted for help with getting off the streets or to chat to if there is a concern for someone on the streets (01202 315962). Additional support, including where to find a meal and what to do in an emergency is available on our find help page.
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.
Still Working Alongside
UPDATED 20th May 2021
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 and vulnerably housed. We can help people access support and services available locally. We also offer a powerbank library service for mobile phones. People can ring us on 07842 174241 between 10 am and 12, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
Our online charity shop is now open every Saturday from 9 am til 12 noon, offering the local community an opportunity to purchase quality, upscaled and newly crafted wooden items made by our trainees as well as selected wooden furniture, jewellery and other useful products of a high standard. All the profits go into helping ex-rough sleepers start a new life. More information is available on the Doorstop Shop Facebook page.
(Providing essential services continues such as Emergency Packs, Furniture, and Laundry Service) Our provision of food, toiletries and furniture to those in emergency and move-on accommodation continues.
Emergency Food Packs
Through our partnership working with BCP council we receive referrals for ex-homeless and vulnerable households and deliver foodpacks to those who need them. We can also provide emergency food parcels if required.
We can deliver a basic furniture pack on receipt of a completed referral form. The requests are bespoke but can include items such as a bed, bedding, a chest of drawers, a wardrobe and household items.
We continue to offer a laundry service at Half-time, Westover Road, BH1 2BZ, Monday to Friday, 10 am til 12. The facility is Covid-secure.
We provide toiletries for those who need them.
Our training programme provides opportunities for the people we support to find purpose and obtain certificates, qualifications and access education. Trainees will be offered placements in areas they are interested in, either externally or within our training projects.
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!
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 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?
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.
Carols for the People
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
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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