Norwich churches help YMCA residents
YMCA Norfolk residents will benefit from the generosity of Norwich churches this Christmas writes Alexis Lloyd, Faith Development Officer.
YMCA residents who have children received Christmas gifts to pass on to their family, which have been provided through the Salvation Arm "Toys and Tins" appeal.
Last year, the campaign brought festive cheer to more than 3000 people and 1000 households in Norfolk, all thanks to the generosity of the public and this year they want to help even more families and individuals who are in need.
The Salvation Army works closely with social services and other local agencies to identify who is vulnerable during this special time of year and who would benefit from a festive parcel or hamper to bring some Christmas joy into their lives.
Norwich Vineyard church regularly provides food parcels through their Food Store project. YMCA residents who are moving on from the hostel into their own accommodation receive a Food Store parcel.
The Food Store project regularly supplies boxes packed with non-perishable food and other essentials items to a wide range of projects and families across Norwich and as far as Wymondham and Great Yarmouth.
There is a dedicated team, led by Austin Perkins (pictured right with Robert Warner) which, every first Sunday in the month, line up a long row of tables in the hall at Thorpe St Andrews High School, where the church meets, and congregation members stack it high with tins, instant food and chocolates.
Meadow Way Chapel is currently funding emergency toiletry packs for men who arrive at the YMCA hostel in the clothes they stand up in. The pack includes all the usual gents’ toiletries, plus a towel and some socks.
Meadow Way’s Mission Link group raised funds and awareness of YMCA residents' needs at a dinner in June 2007. This Christmas they are also providing financial support towards a day trip for some residents.
The YMCA Norwich hostel is in the parish of St Giles on the Hill. During 2007 the hostel has continued to benefit from their generous financial support. Father Darren Thornton and the PCC welcomed us again this year for the annual YMCA Norfolk Carol Service.
We should also mention individuals who volunteer or make financial contributions. This makes us we feel very blessed at YMCA Norfolk. We never cease to be delighted and surprised when complete strangers arrive at the hostel reception with sweets, biscuits and occasionally a very generous cheque!