Last year the PCC asked the Mission Support Team to review the charities we support and the recommendation agreed by the team was to continue our sponsorship of Barnabus, the homeless charity in Manchester, and the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza and that we look for a new third charity and a fourth be added again as soon as our finances recovered.
The PCC accepted this and in December 2021 we added the Larchfield Children’s Home as our third charity. This March (following the presentation of favourable draft 2021 accounts) it was agreed to add the Guildford Refugee Support Scheme (renamed Camino) as a fourth.
Larchfield Children’s Home
Larchfield is a purpose-built children’s home in Tanzania which serves as a safe and secure refuge for children in the Mkuranga district of Tanzania (south of Dar-es-Salaam). Many of the children are there because their families have been dislocated and destroyed by HIV.
The project will also include a centre for vocational training in agriculture and our donations are being used to fund the planting of papaya, okra and guava trees plus peanuts and lentils to aid the agricultural project and sustainability initiative. The aim is to be able to feed the Larchfield family and also generate revenue by selling and distributing the produce in the market.
Following a visit to Larchfield in November 2022, founder Jim Berry wrote to us saying “I had a look around and saw Okra and Papaya plants etc - I have taken some photos (see below). One thing that’s obvious is that the sandy soil needs to be enriched by good growing soil and manure mixed together. As it stands, the sand is too porous to provide nutrition where it’s needed. Once we have done this, I expect the yield to be really good. My personal thanks to you and to your congregation for their support”.
Camino (originally Guildford Refugee Support Scheme)
Before the current Ukrainian refugee crisis, our Mission Support Team were already looking at joining the Guildford Refugee Support Scheme which currently supports 8 refugee families in Woking and 6 families in Guildford.
The PCC decided to support the suggestion, whereby we would partner with the Catholic Church in Guildford through which we would hope to jointly support a specific refugee family (probably from Afghanistan) to resettle locally. However, our support will not just be financial. We will need to be actively involved in helping the family relocate and settle in.
If you would like to be part of this initiative and represent us on the coordinating committee (training will be given) please contact Jo Norfolk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest Camino News 2023
Our latest Mission Support project, to sponsor and support a refugee family for resettlement in Guildford has been realised.
Together with our two partners: Rev. Diane Peters and her Church in North Guildford and the Catholic Church of Guildford, we were able to acquire a two-bedroom, ground floor flat for a reasonable rent in Onslow Village. Our application for a refugee family was duly accepted by the Home Office and produced the offer of a Syrian family of three - two parents with special health needs, who would benefit from the flat’s proximity to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, and their 15 year old son. (Their four older sons remain in Syria and in Turkey)
Members took on a variety of responsibilities to refurbish and furnish the flat completely. With cupboards full of linen, household necessities and food, we were ready well before the Almidani family arrived in early December. Since then, our variously skilled team members have been kept busy setting them up with banking, benefits, medical care and language tuition. Their teenage son has been accepted at St. Peters School, has joined the local football club and will soon have a bicycle. With the help of Google Translate on his phone and his eagerness to help, he has made communication easier for us all. They are a delightful family, extremely grateful for our support.
Now that they have been here for a couple of months, the next phase will be to help them speak better English so that they can integrate more fully into local life. They also have to learn about our bus services, which are somewhat limited in the part of Guildford they live in.
Barnabus is a Christian Homeless Charity which has provided a lifeline to the homeless in Manchester for over 25 years. They offer help with accommodation, rehabilitation, practical support, healthcare, mediation, skills training and links to employment opportunities. In addition, they also offer a range of activities, volunteering and mentoring to help build confidence and skills.
Barnabus has a drop in centre in the city of Manchester where much of their support is provided. Our Parish has provided the funding, for the last five years, for their IT cafe (see picture) which has enabled it to be stocked with computers and printers so that clients can seek employment, sort out benefits or talk to their families on Facebook. The facilities have also been used to help clients understand and create budgets or to become more confident about handling money.
Barnabus is passionate about helping vulnerable or rejected people and feel that it is their privilege to help them realise their hopes and dreams for new and positive futures. This Parish keeps in very close contact with Barnabus and is delighted that it can assist them with their excellent work albeit in a very small way.
Our Mission support for Al Ahli Hospital, Gaza
Latest video to mark the one year anniversary of the May 2021 war
The Parish supported the Hospital in the centre of Gaza city, through our donation of £2000 per year administered by the Amos Trust. The hospital treats over 45,000 patients each year, and is a beacon of hope for peace in an area fraught with political and economic problems, resulting in humanitarian suffering, disease, and social problems. Restrictions on movement and imports of basic medicines have accentuated problems caused by limited electricity, food, water, fuel and personnel.
In addition, Al Ahli provides free mobile clinics to villages across Gaza for elderly women, free care for burns injuries and underweight or malnourished children, screening programmes for early detection of breast cancer and essential psychosocial support. The hospital also partners with community organisations to provide much-needed training for local people in counselling, social work, basic first aid and medical aid, and run their own training programmes for graduate and undergraduate youth.
The Parish donated an additional £2000 for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the building of the Outpatients Department which collapsed in December 2018.
Past Charities We have Supported
Chance for Childhood
Their Vision: “A world where no child is forgotten”
Chance for Childhood: Final Report on Six Years of Parish Support.
2014 – 2020
Chance for Childhood is an award winning charity working across Africa to rescue and support vulnerable children - from the streets, from behind bars, from destitution and from all kinds of abuse, in accordance with their vision that “no child is forgotten”.
In partnership with a local charity on the ground, “Passion for Community”, they started work in Patongo, northern Uganda, to rehabilitate child soldiers and girl slaves returning from the civil war, while also seeking out the many poverty-stricken youngsters, orphaned by conflict and frequently left responsible for younger siblings.
First CFC encouraged as many young people as possible to join in the building of a large Youth Centre. Here, helped by charitable donations, they were able to provide counselling to boys and girls who had been involved in violence and teachers to give them basic education and skills training needed to earn a living. At first the Parish chose to support the popular tailoring course, which within three - four years produced a surprisingly large number of tailors in business - but more recently we have supported training in agribusiness, where climate change is demanding new farming techniques. In both cases we have been delighted to receive innumerable heart-warming, personal stories of success for hundreds of young people!
Although the Parish donation of £2,000 per annum was originally agreed for two years, it continued for 6 years, due to our reluctance to stop supporting such a deserving charity. CFC is hugely grateful for our extended support, helping them to make such an impact on the lives, not only of the youngsters themselves but on their families and the wider community. We are equally grateful for the chance to have played a small part in turning young lives around in northern Uganda.
The Cleaver Family
The Parish, through its outward giving, supported the Cleaver family from 2013- 2018, while they were working with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Western Ukraine. After working with orphanages in Ternopil, they felt called by God to set up a transition home for vulnerable teenage girls from the age of 16, when they have to leave their orphanages. Nina and Josh, together with their children: Joni, Zebadee and (latterly)Tallulah lived with and supported 4 of these teenagers in Vinnitsa. The transition home is on the left of the photo.
When the transition home was devastated by fire in November 2016, parishioners generously gave to the re-build project. Sadly, after the re-build was completed, the Ukrainian government brought in new legislation, which prevents external groups from legally working with orphanages. Consequently, the family were no longer able to continue their work in the Ukraine. However, they prayed for guidance as to the way forward and are now preparing to live and work with the Anglican church in Moscow. See photo of the family in Moscow, on a recent preparatory visit.
As the Transition home ‘project’ has now come to an end, the Mission Support team has agreed to officially end the Parish support for the Cleaver family for the time being.
An UPDATE for 2022! Josh is now being ordained on Sunday July 3rd 2022 at Guildford Cathedral and is serving his curacy at Egham Hythe.