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This Month's Charites

 St Mary’s Charminster is supporting two charities this Christmas. 

 

 

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a horrendous year. However, in the midst of the darkness, there were some chinks of light for people sleeping rough. At the beginning of the first lockdown, there was a nationwide ‘Everybody In’ campaign whereby everyone sleeping rough was offered some form of accommodation – mostly B&B. Central government gave local authorities 24 hours’ notice to achieve this feat so there was an incredibly intensive period of us working with partners at Dorset Council to reach out to everybody across the county who we knew to be sleeping out. Not everyone accepted the offer; we have some people sleeping in remote places who don’t want to accept a roof or be amongst other people, so we just kept up our regular visits on the street/woods/field and made sure that they were still able to get basic provisions and were staying well. For others, it was the first opportunity in ages to get inside and, whilst some ended up being evicted and returning to the street later in the summer, we have been able to support others into long term tenancies. 

Throughout this time, the money you raised for us in last Christmas’s campaign has been invaluable; for example, we were able to keep a stock of ‘kettle food’ (dried pasta meals etc) to give to people who were having to self-isolate with no kitchen facilities, and provide someone moving into their own place with small household items. It is so helpful to have an independent resource that we can use more creatively, according to specific clients’ needs. One woman was struggling to keep to lockdown rules, so we set her up with colouring books, pens and sketchpads,that allowed her to deal with the boredom and lower her anxiety levels. So we are immensely grateful that you have again chosen us as one of the charities to support this Christmas. A massive THANK YOU from the whole team and the people we serve.

 

 

Dorchester Poverty Action (DPA) has been working as a registered charity for local people in DT1 and DT2 postcode areas since 1994. We make grants up to £200 to anyone in a financial crisis where a small amount of money will make a difference. The request must come from a professional worker who knows the circumstances of the applicant, such as health visitor, social worker, teacher, church leader, tenancy worker, Citizens’ Advice worker, etc. So far this financial year we have made 67 grants totalling £11,198. As well as making grants we purchase £10 Coop supermarket gift cards and distribute these, on request, to those same professional departments so that they can give immediate help to someone with no money at all. We have bought £7,450 worth of these gift cards so far this financial year.

To achieve this really amazing total in a year when we have not held any fund-raising events, we are so grateful to lots of individual generous local people and organisations, such as yourself and your church community. We are glad that you understand the need to support the many people who have been badly affected by the pandemic and the lockdowns. We are expecting a big rise in need for grants as the winter progresses and more and more jobs disappear. 

Donations are welcome in marked envelopes into the church giving box, and collections will be taken after services.