Click on each Aims or Outcomes section below to reveal the text.
Winter Night Shelter
Our aim is to view every individual as made in the image of God. We aim to treat people with dignity, respect, and to value them. We believe everyone should be given the opportunity to aspire to and realize their full potential.
The night shelter aims to offer guests the opportunity of a safe, warm and caring environment during the coldest months of winter. We seek to provide the emotional space for guests to reflect on, and consider what they can do and what is possible, to bring about positive change in their circumstances.
We aim to focus on what we can do and not on what we can’t, recognizing we are not in a position to offer spaces to everyone.
We aim to support those we can in finding suitable accommodation to move into before the night shelter season ends. As appropriate, we aim to encourage and assist guests to begin to address the real life issues and challenges they face.
We aim to point those we can’t admit to the night shelter to other agencies who may be able to offer other forms of help.
Measuring outcomes can be very subjective and can sometimes rely too much on the interpretation of statistics. These only tell part of the story, and so we want to also emphasise the impact in other ways too, including of course the impact on the individuals who are helped, and the wider community.
The statistics tell their own story here:
The Big Picture 2011/12 – 2015/16 (5 seasons)
No. of Host Churches = 8
No. of Guests = 200
No. accommodated in more permanent housing during the night shelter = 100
No. homeless when the night shelter closed = 25
No. of bed-nights given = 4453
Since 1st December 2011, 528 individuals from 35 churches have staffed 1374 shifts over 458 nights at an average of 4.18 volunteers per shift. This equates to almost 29,000 volunteer hours.
Even before we opened the night shelter for the first season we encountered a tremendous amount of generosity and goodwill from the local business community and individuals who wanted to offer help. Many of these relationships are still maintained today and have become an integral part of the night shelter programme. They range from a small business who provide laundry services for us each week during the season, a national high street bakery who provide us with their unsold bread, savoury products and cakes each night, a local pharmacy who provide the nightly transport and collection from the bakery. Many individuals also give of their time to assist with daily or weekly tasks, outside of the standard volunteering roles.
There is a real sense that the night shelter has helped create an infectious and tangible spirit of community in the town that transcends cultural differences.
Eight participating Host Churches have worked together to ensure the continuity of the night shelter. This has brought about opportunities for new friendships to form and grow across the whole church community as we draw volunteers from around 35 churches in Eastbourne and district.
We are grateful to the many individuals and the many churches that have made significant financial gifts to us and have helped fund the on-going costs.
Our aim is to provide professional support in a loving and caring environment for men who are committed to engage with us to see positive changes to their lives and lifestyles.
We aim to be that bridge from an old life to a new life and hope that during their stay with us, typically between 6 months and 2 years, they will be ready to move on to the next step towards sustainable independent living.
We aim to encourage our residents to become responsible citizens and to help them to develop existing skills and to learn new life skills that will better prepare them for the future.
Our aim is to provide a structured daily routine that will include a healthy balance of work, rest, and play, and give opportunities for eventual return to a constructive working environment where possible.
Through taking a holistic approach to their personal development, and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, our aim is to enable and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own lives and to be better able to reintegrate successfully into society.
Our aim is for them to be restored and released from whatever holds them back and to dare to dream and find hope for a better future.
Since opening in June 2014 we have taken in 18 residents, who have stayed between 2 weeks and 9 months. Sadly, a minority of these have relapsed and we have assisted them in returning to rehab where this has been their wish. However, the majority leaving The Bridge have moved into their own accommodation, some so that they could have greater access to their children with whom contact had been re-established, and some moved away for work. Examples of the latter are one resident who obtained a job as an A-level Business Studies teacher and moved to Essex for work, and another who we enabled to find work as a graphics / media person with a large charity, for which accommodation was given with the job. We always aim to ensure there is ongoing support locally for residents when they move to a new area.
Our aims are to:
1. create jobs and offer skills training to people
2. provide a non-threatening environment that equips people for work
3. help restore self worth and build confidence
4. recycle and reuse waste wood and other products
5. provide volunteering opportunities
Hope Woodwork ‘clients’ aim to gain confidence, overcome anxiety issues, put a routine in place, learn new skills and ultimately find paid employment. Some people come with pre-existing carpentry skills but have lost the ability to use these skills confidently in the workplace. Some people find interaction with work colleagues stressful. Some need to be introduced or re-introduced to the routine of fixed hours and expectations of them. Some just need to keep busy to avoid temptation and prevent relapse. Hope Woodwork provides a gentle re-introduction to work and a supportive environment for people who need the above. Some aims and outcomes are tangible in terms of increasing skill levels and finding paid employment. Others are less tangible but help people on their recovery journey.
Hope Woodwork has also been operating since July 2014. Since then, as of August 2016, 20 people have taken up volunteer work placements with the project, learning new workplace skills and gaining in confidence and self-esteem. People come for varying numbers of days per week and stay for varying lengths of time, depending on their individual circumstances. However, we have seen a number leave and find paid employment, and those with addictive behavioural backgrounds value the project for ‘keeping them busy’ and giving them a sense of purpose and new friends, which aids their recovery.
Hope Woodwork has a committed team of skilled volunteers / mentors who work with people on placement each day. The almost one-to-one nature of this interaction from men with technical skills, life experience and personal stability is a significant contributor to the success of the project.
Hope Woodwork manufactures almost all products from ‘waste’ timber thereby preventing this from going into landfill or being disposed of in other ways. It is unfortunately difficult to quantify how much wood we have used. All of our scrap wood is made into kindling and bagged up for sale.
Hope into Action
Our aim is to mobilise, unite and unleash Christian prayer, investments, donations and volunteering to fight injustice and release the oppressed.
We aim to provide safe, good quality, affordable homes to vulnerable individuals or families, with each resident engaging with a tenant support officer and a friendship / support group from a local church.
We are currently (August 2016) working on opening our first Hope into Action House in Eastbourne. Once this house has tenants we will monitor the following outcomes in line with Hope into Action nationally:
Number of residents who:
– Maintain tenancy
– Abstain from crime
– Reduce their drug intake
– Improve social relations with family
– Volunteer, enter education or training
– Get a job
– Are re-paying non-HiA debts