Street Connect, Connecting online... I would like to welcome you to the new monthly Street Connect blog, written by myself, Ricky McAddock, Co-Founder and Director of Street Connect. Every 2 - 3 months we will run a theme, with the odd 'hot topic' blog being thrown in for good measure on a current issue related to our work, or sharing of something we have been learning at Street Connect. We will be looking at topics such as Leadership, Faith, Homelessness, Addiction and many more. We will begin by looking at our first theme of: 'Vision, Mission and Values' This is what John Maxwell says on the topic: "Vision is the organisations head; it’s what we see with. Mission is the organisations heart; it’s what we live for. Values are the organisations soul; it’s God’s imprint upon our lives." Anyone who has worked with or works for Street Connect (including all staff, volunteers and partners) should all be well aware that we are a values driven organisation (or at least they should be! ), where our values are core to who we are. We run internal training where one of the key sessions is delivered on the 'Street Connect Culture' where we look at each of the below statements in detail: OUR VISION To see those marginalised by life-controlling issues fulfilling their potential as valuable members of society. OUR MISSION To offer hope & opportunity of improvement to the disadvantaged and marginalised in society. OUR VALUES Faith – Faith in the transforming power of Jesus Christ underpins all our activities. Worth – every individual has immeasurable value and should be encouraged and supported to achieve their God-given potential. Integrity – We are committed to principles of honesty, transparency, and courtesy in all we do. Growth – personal development is lifelong and requires openness to change and a commitment to continuous learning. Partnership – collaboration with other agencies, businesses and individuals prepared to invest in our mission is essential to success. Excellence – a commitment to continual improvement in order to provide the highest standard of service in all our activities. Hopefully over the next few months we can familiarise those who don’t already know what drives us, and to reaffirm in those who already know our Vision, Mission & Values, to hopefully explain better and in more detail what they mean to us and how they outwork in our daily activities. This week we will be firstly looking at vision: OUR VISION To see those marginalised by life-controlling issues fulfilling their potential as valuable members of society. Our main client group are those who are suffering with various life controlling issues such as: Addictions, Homelessness, Isolation, Mental Health, Poverty, Offending, Trauma etc. and these are the people we feel God has called us to reach out to. We want to see these people fulfilling their God-given potential and making a positive contribution to society, hopefully seeing them then going on to help and support others who have been through similar things to themselves, as God doesn’t waste any of our experience, turning it round to use for good. I firmly believe that Vision comes from God, which He outworks through man (or woman). We can see throughout history, and throughout the Bible, how God gave men (I will use this term generically, hopefully this doesn’t offend anyone) visions, who then brought the right people round about them to fulfil the vision. As Sharon Hill states: “A dream is the seed of possibility planted in the soul of a human being, which calls him to pursue a unique path to the realisation of his purpose” Jesus says “you will always have the poor with you… “ John 12:8, but it is our aim to help and support as many of these as possible by having a Vision that we will never be able to fully fulfill, but will do our best to make a significant and lasting difference. I just last weekend heard Tim Jack, the National Leader of the Apostolic Church share that: “Your Vision should not be able to be achieved by you” and Alistair Matheson, Chairman of Street Connect went on to share: “If you have enough people to fulfil your vision, your vision isn’t big enough”. I am so thankful to God for what we have managed to achieve to date, over the past 5 years (well almost 5 years, we began on Sat 4th May 2013) but we have still not even scratched the surface of what is possible and are believing for so much more. I would like to share a little of our Vision for the next few years: We are hoping over the next few months to secure our second move-on flat for those who have successfully completed a time in residential rehab, with the aim of having many more move-on flats in various locations. We would like a supported accommodation unit for those who are homeless and/or on high doses of methodone and/or living in isolation, or any other great need to come into a supported environment for a time, while preparing them for rehab, their own tenancy, or whatever the next stage of their journey looks like. We have developed a model we believe can be replicated in various locations in the Glasgow area and beyond, even into different parts of the UK. We currently have our City Centre work, Possil Park, Govan and are starting a work in Clydebank in April, all in partnership with local churches, in-line with our strapline of: "Street Connect empowering the local church to reach the lost" We are also in discussion with a number of other locations about potential partnerships, taking the work to the people, rather than waiting for them to come to us. While growing and expanding we also want to ensure that none of our current activities are neglected in anyway, but that these go from strength to strength, making a greater impact in their local communities, whilst continuing to strive for excellence and improvement in all our endeavours. Operational plans are being developed for each area. What I would like to leave you with is this: Proverbs 29:18 says "Where there is no vision, the people perish" Do you have a dream? Is it bigger than yourself? Then don’t wait about, take the step of faith, put in the hard work towards making your dream a reality. Together, we CAN make a difference.