After our recent Supporters’ Dinner on the 4th May, celebrating exactly six years since the work began, I was reflecting over this six year period and one phrase sprung immediately to mind: thank you Lord!

Thank you

We would like to say thank you to everyone who made the evening at the recent Supporters’ Dinner a special night. Thanks to Mark and everyone at Ruchill Parish Church for allowing us to use the venue. Thanks to Ryan and the guys from Regis Banqueting for proving such high-quality food and service on the evening. We had over 70 people in attendance and had a great night of testimony, fellowship and updating what God has done through our work in the past year (see below). We raised £1,697.35 and got great feedback on what was a fantastic evening.

2018/19

Since I last wrote a news story updating what had happened in 2017/18, we have been so thankful for another very fruitful year. Below are some numbers which tell part of the story:

We made 5304 Street interventions compared with 4271 in 2017/18 and 2495 in 2016/17.

We had 7332 Café attendances (largely due to new projects in Deal and Paisley, which you will hear more about below) compared with 2135 in 2017/18 and 855 in 2016/17.

189 people had more than one 1-2-1 meeting, compared to 93 and 64 in the previous 2 years.

81 individuals attended 581 sessions of our recovery groups compared with, 68 individuals attending 918 in 2017/18, and we had 734 attendances in 2016/17.

15 individuals went to Christian rehab, compared with 7 in 2017/18 and the 7 in 2016/17.

Beyond the numbers

In August 2018 we purchased our second move-on flat and brought in a Housing Support Co-ordinator to help us better manage our move-on project. Since the project started in August 2017, we have had 10 men in our 2 different flats, and 2 have gone on to get married! 5 have since gone on to employment, we are currently full with 4 men in the 2 flats just now.

For the first time last year we began to try and capture some of the softer outcomes of our work to better demonstrate the impact we are making, such as:

Reduced drug and alcohol use, improved mental, physical and emotional health, improved social networks, managing tenancy/accommodation, more meaningful use of time to demonstrate that we are tackling some of our nation’s greatest issues such as loneliness and isolation, mental health, homelessness, addictions, poverty, offending behaviours and more associated issues.

We saw our staff team grow from 9 to 18 paid staff, but we are currently down to 17. In terms of FTE (Full time Equivalent), this is from 4 to 9.43 as it currently stands. More than double! And God continues to send us high quality individuals, of which we are so thankful. We are truly blessed!

We have seen our volunteers increase significantly too! We have over 50 regular volunteers and had over 50 volunteers who participated in community fundraising events last year! So over 100 different people altogether! We are so thankful to all our volunteers - as we would not be able to do what we do without them.

Included in these volunteers, we have seen our board of trustees strengthened, going from 4 to 7! With 3 new trustees coming on board this past year bringing a lot of skills and experience to our board, helping us to move to a higher level of operation as the work continues to expand. God is good!

Three new projects

In the past year we started three new projects:

  • April: Clydebank in partnership with Park Christian Fellowship 
  • May: Paisley in partnership with Cornerstone Drop-in, which is now partnering with Hopehall Evangelical church as Cornerstone merged in with Street Connect.
  • June: we started a project in Deal in Kent, partnering with Community Church Deal. All projects are making a significant impact in their local communities.

Just two weeks ago we also started our latest project in Greenock in partnership with Prospecthill Chrisian Fellowship.

Midway through the year we started to really look at what we were doing, how we were doing it and why we were doing things the way we have been. Alex Nicol who previously ran an addictions service in Greenock joined our team and carried out a review of our current activities. I also began reviewing our church partnership work and all this has effectively started a period of consolidation.

We have grown so fast, adding bits on here and there, effectively patching the ship 
in mid sailing. We have been spending a significant amount of time reviewing in depth all areas of our work to ensure we are fit for purpose and to ensure we are in the best possible shape to prepare us for what is ahead.

We need a strong, firm foundation so that we can make the organisation more sustainable and to be able to carry everything that God will bring our way in this next stage of our journey.

We also began looking at the pathway from initial engagements with people through our street outreach and drop-in cafes, then into more focused support and our aftercare program. What are we trying to do through each service and how can we improve it?

We also got our new website up and running at the beginning of 2019.

So, what does 2019/20 look like for us? 

Year ahead (2019/20)

On 23rd May this year we just finished our 5th year as a registered charity and have now entered our 6th year. Despite being a period of review, consolidation and strengthening our foundation, we still have a lot of new things happening.

As mentioned above, our latest project recently opened in Greenock, and we could potentially be looking at a new partnership later in the year in Blackwood, and other conversations and relationships are ongoing with other churches.

One of our longstanding ambitions for a supported accommodation project will be reviewed in depth this year. We hope to secure the funding to have a feasibility study for such a project which will help us to determine what will be needed to make this a reality if it is to happen in the near future.

We're so thankful for all that has grown and been made possible in the last six years, and for the continued support of those who volunteer, pray and donate towards our cause!

Interested in getting involved with our work further?

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