Please click here to download the Submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee document.
Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury were recently successful in being awarded funding from The Albert Gubay Foundation to use as a crisis fund to help those who are falling into poverty due to the current pandemic.
The Caritas/Gubay Covid Crisis Fund provides one-off grants to support families or individuals living within the Diocese of Shrewsbury where a relatively small amount of funding can make a big difference, funds can only be provided to those who are in exceptional circumstances and are facing a crisis as a result of Covid-19. Awards have been given to support those needing food, clothing household appliances, beds and utility bills.
Practically, the crisis fund has already helped a very high number of people in the diocese who have been considered the most vulnerable in our community. Caritas has added value to the fund by taking a holistic approach providing emotional as well as practical support to those who need it by giving them the opportunity to work with our Family Support Workers and appropriate agencies who can support them longer term.
The National Lottery gave a grant to Caritas Shrewsbury to establish a Crisis Fund and make small emergency one-off grants available for individuals and families in need where a relatively small amount of funding could make a big difference. It was clear many were facing immediate financial crises and for them, the grant was a lifesaver.
Our Crisis Fund was advertised through; collaborate agencies, schools, parishes, our own website, and by clients through word of mouth. Staff worked tirelessly to help the most vulnerable address practical and emotional needs – a difficult task as many other agencies were closed and foodbanks short of supplies.
The issues faced by our clients have ben varied but all leading to poverty and financial chaos if not addressed. By making a crisis grant and a package of support available, we were able to help clients manage and avoid financial and health related breakdown.
The grants have maintained, changed or even improved lives of some of the most vulnerable in our community with many families managing to stay above the poverty line.
There lies real added value and impact for Caritas and the National Lottery Grant, so a BIG
THANK YOU from Caritas to National Lottery!
Click here to see the full letter to the National Lottery!
Many thanks for a very generous donation of food to the Hope Project Foodbank from Altrincham Rotary Club.
Young people continue to make an amazing contribution to the Hope Project Foodbank with volunteering to help rotate stock, prepare and deliver the parcels. Since lockdown many young people have to stood up to the plate by volunteering at the Foodbank.
Thank you for all the those who help. The Hope project continues to support over 70’s who are self-isolating, people with health conditions and those who have had a reduction of income.
Our Shrewsbury-based Family Support Worker works closely with Shrewsbury Foodbank, one of the initiatives of Foodbank Plus, based out of Barnabas Church Centre. The team there are extremely helpful when we have to visit to collect food for families.
Thank you all for your continued support!
During 2020 Caritas Shrewsbury has experienced major changes, perhaps overshadowed by the worst public health crisis for a generation, but none the less, significant.
Caritas said goodbye to its former Chief Executive, Mary Kilcoyne, who retired in March. Mary joined the Catholic Children’s Society back in 1988 working in the community, and later became its Director before Chief Executive Officer, ushering in the transition to Caritas. We want to thank Mary for all the work she did on behalf of Catholic Children’s Society and Caritas, and we hope she enjoys her retirement!
We would like to say a warm welcome to our new Chief Executive Ben Gilchrist who joined us on 7th September. Ben comes with a wealth of experience in international and community work, and irrepressible passion for people empowerment and social justice! Ben, we are delighted you have joined us and look forward to working with you.
During challenging times leaders rise and this is exactly what happened within Caritas. Trish Spencer, our Family Support Services Manager, became the Acting Chief Executive during the interim period before Ben joined us. With the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, our Diocese and local communities were effected as adversely as the rest of the nation. Being led by Trish, Caritas was pro-active and continued to support those most vulnerable within our communities. We want to thank Trish, for her commitment, resilience and unwavering sense of humour! Trish is now our Deputy Chief Executive, and we look forward to this new chapter in our story.
Last but by no means least, Caritas would like to say a huge thank you to its staff and volunteers who have all been truly incredible during these unprecedented times and worked tirelessly to support not only existing children, families and individuals, but also new families who have experienced crisis throughout the pandemic. Workloads doubled but staff and volunteers, including new volunteers, adapted, persevered, and supported everyone we work with as well as each other, and for that we are truly grateful. A fantastic team showing what Caritas means and all we can achieve together into the future.
If you would like to get involved please do get in touch: https://www.caritasshrewsbury.org.uk/contact/
The SENsitive Support Group is a support and campaign group for parents with children with special educational needs, based at St Aidan’s Centre, Wythenshawe.
Caritas Shrewsbury helped the parents to set up the group last year.
Ben said ‘I was really inspired by the parents’ stories and what they have already achieved.’
Congratulations to The Hope Project Foodbank volunteers on receiving a Special Recognition Award from the Greater Manchester High Sheriff, Dr Eamonn O’Neil. The Award was for the “outstanding contribution to the community, during the Covid 19 outbreak.”
The Hope Project, a partnership between Caritas and Catholic Social Action Wythenshawe was set up to address social isolation, as well as food poverty, during the pandemic. The picture shows Sharon, one of Foodbank volunteers proudly holding the certificate.
The Foodbank has done an amazing job during difficult times and at its peak was providing food for over 1,100 meals per week! Well done to all the volunteers the award is richly deserved.