Tackling poverty and/or social injustice
Every year between November and April, St Columba’s Church of Scotland in London opens its doors to 35 homeless guests one night a week in winter. We also serve an evening meal for many more. For the last 5 years, I have been volunteering with this winter night shelter project.
The scheme is run by the charity Glass Door, with St Columba’s being one of seven churches in the circuit. Each church provides the volunteers and the sleeping space for a different night of the week... read more
Advent and the closing out of another year always lead me to reflection, and what a year we have to reflect upon at the Carnwadric WIN Project. Throughout this year we have seen new pieces of work get off the ground, participation numbers grow, relationships develop and we’ve seen positive outcomes for many of the families that we work with.
None of these things would have been possible without the dedication of our small team of volunteers who work tirelessly to support the work of the project, so we were delighted this year to receive funding from the Voluntary Action Fund to develop our work with, and support of, volunteers at WIN... read more
We’ve heard a lot about fake news recently. In case you’ve missed it, fake news is an untrue piece of information – usually news – spread for some kind of political gain. It’s what we used to call rumour and spin – and, in older times, propaganda. Most recently, the term was first used by US President Donald Trump during his election campaign to try to score points over any media outlet that presented a negative image of him. A lot of fake news has received more coverage than traditional propaganda because of social media... read more
Good news travels … and so do good ideas! Last year Colston Milton Parish Church held a Christmas Giveaway. The idea is that folk both give and receive unwanted or extra gifts, allowing those with little cash to participate in a Christmas event and perhaps end up with some gifts to give to a loved one.
It was a great event, apparently; festive, cheerful, with plenty of stuff. Everyone went away satisfied, and there wasn’t too much to drop off to the charity shop next day... read more
Some people land on their feet. Others have two left feet. But all of us are finding our feet. We are all trying to make our way and find the niche in which we fit. Work, church, family, community; we all have to find our place in the world.
If this isn’t challenging enough, our sense of place is tightly entwined with our self worth. If we can’t find our feet in the various areas of our life we can feel useless, lonely, inferior and even unlovable... read more
On Sunday afternoon, as part of our ecumenical Harvest Celebrations, I found myself contemplating on a hazelnut. Don’t worry, it’s not as uncomfortable as it might sound! In fact, it is a prayer practice traced to Julian of Norwich and the idea is a very simple but very powerful one. Take a small hazelnut into the palm of your hand. Find a quiet space to slow down and imagine the small thing in your hands as representing all that is created... read more
Roots and Fruits gardening project started three years ago as a pilot here in the Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre to provide opportunities for adults with additional needs to learn the benefits of growing and cooking grown produce. Working with North Lanarkshire Council Support Services the project supported a group of ten adults of mixed ages with physical or mental disabilities. Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre provided rooms for the group to meet and an area of land for the group to turn into a community garden for growing produce... read more
At the Havilah project, we enjoy nothing better than seeing people getting their lives back on track – people who were at the lowest ebb and who now know the meaning of, ‘Amazing grace, that saved a wretch like me.’
T has been coming to our project for years, mostly moving in the right direction but every so often slipping back into chaos. When she told us she was pregnant, we weren’t sure what to think – wondering if she’d cope... read more
Street Pastors have had an eventful 2017 so far: the recruitment and training of new volunteers has increased the numbers in our teams. At the end of May, fourteen new Street Pastors were commissioned and a joyful and moving night was had by all. This means that when we can divide into sub-teams of 3 we can simultaneously patrol more areas of the city centre. With 9 volunteers in a team we can cover Princes Street and George Street, the Bridges and the Cowgate and Lothian Road and Grassmarket... read more