Welcome to Alabaré Churchlink, an update on what is happening around the charity which we hope you will share with those who might be interested.
We were delighted last month to welcome our new Senior chaplain, the Revd Gill Turner-Callis. Although she is based in Salisbury, she has already been out and about visiting our homes getting to know staff and residents. She is also keen to meet our volunteer chaplains to get an understanding of the vital role they play in the organisation.
Around our Homes and Services
One of our current priorities is to build up our Mental Health support provision. Hope House, our short-term residential facility in Chippenham, has space for four residents who are facing mental health crises; it is anticipated that no-one will stay for more than four weeks. We are also delighted that Riverside Sanctuary, as well as being a telephone support service, is now able to meet people in person once more. This service is available to all Wiltshire residents on 0808 2803528.
Following the success of our Armed Forces Veterans Self-Build Schemes in Leominster and Plymouth, we are excited to be starting a new scheme in Wiltshire, giving veterans the opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications whilst building homes that could potentially be theirs on completion.
We have also finally been able to open the Café at our Old Sarum Garden Centre. As well as the clients working with the Café Manager to make their own lunches, the public are now able to enjoy refreshments – including freshly baked cakes – in this beautiful location just outside Salisbury.
We have been pleased in the past to provide homes for several unaccompanied asylum seekers from Syria. We are keen to be ready to welcome more refugees, should it be appropriate.
With restrictions lifting, it was wonderful to be able to attend the monthly benefice service of the Upper Wylye Valley Team to talk about Alabaré. I am very much looking forward to joining several churches during Lent, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to arrange for me or another member of the team to visit!
Friday March 4th saw the return of our sponsored Big Sleep to the cloisters of the iconic Salisbury Cathedral. On what was a freezing cold night, 180 brave souls were welcomed by the Dean, the Very Revd Nick Papadopulos for this special night. Many of them spent the night on mattresses made of cardboard and did their best to keep warm in their sleeping bags and wearing multiple layers of clothes. In the words of one participant who was sleeping out for the first time, ‘It was an incredibly humbling experience. The floor was cold and hard and the night was short in hours, but long mentally. I would totally recommend taking part in the future.’
To reflect the regional nature of our work, we are very excited to announce that on Friday April 22nd we will be holding our next Big Sleep at Gwrych Castle in North Wales. Many of you will know that this is the castle which has been home to Ant and Dec’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here’ for the last two years! Participants will face various challenges, whilst raising funds for our Homes for Veterans work in Wales. You can find more details on our website at https://www.alabare.co.uk/campaign/the-big-sleep-at-gwrych-castle
It was great to hear that one of our young people who has recently moved into independent accommodation sent her support worker this message: ‘Thank you for absolutely everything you have done for me since the very start, you’ve been amazing to me and have supported me the best way you could, and I really appreciate everything honestly! YOU have been amazing.’
Do keep an eye on our current vacancies https://www.alabare.co.uk/about/jobs as we have a range of opportunities. And please get in touch if you have a few hours to spare and would be able to volunteer for us.
Please pray for our residents and staff, especially those who have recently joined the organisation.
Thank you so much for your prayers in these challenging times. We do hope that this edition of Churchlink gives you a flavour of our current priorities, all of which fit our vision of enabling those who are homeless or vulnerable to live fulfilling lives.
With very best wishes
Church Engagement Officer