UMC Project Fund 2019-20
Every year we invite nominations for charities to be supported by the Church Project Fund. Following consultation, the following three charities are to be supported in the coming year.
Oldham Unity – sponsored by Ian Wales
Oldham Unity is a group of unpaid local volunteers, refugees and asylum seekers from all faiths and none. It works in partnership with Oldham Baptist Church and the Red Cross to run an Emergency Food Project for destitute asylum seekers. People find themselves in this situation, firstly when they have just arrived in the UK and the Home Office have been slow to respond and so as destitute asylum seekers get no vouchers, money or accommodation. Later, when possibly an application for permission to stay has been refused, they again fall out of the system and are destitute until an appeal is made.
The Unity Project provides an important meeting place for asylum seekers who know nobody, have no friends or relatives, poor language skills and are very lonely people. Many have been here for years and their case has still not been resolved. During this time, they can’t work and depression and a feeling of hopelessness is common. Encouragement is given to start and continue with English courses, for integration into British society.
The project spends approximately £1500 per month. The 2 main items are food and bus fares. Food is obtained from donations, including from Fair Share (a charity which buys eg surplus supermarket stock and nearly out of date food and provides it to charities like this and foodbanks for a low fee). Each person is also given £5 to spend on bus fares, etc. to cover travel costs and also money for the purchase of toiletries. Clothes are also donated and given out. The Unity Project provides a service rarely found in Greater Manchester and a way of helping people whose life is on hold.
CRIBS (Care for Refugees Interim Baby Shelter) – sponsored by Steve & Val Croft
CRIBS International is a UK registered charity providing homes in Greece for pregnant refugee women and families with new babies. These families have come from camps and squats where living conditions are squalid and desperate. They have fled from war zones, ISIS and the Taliban. CRIBS rents, furnishes and pays the bills for apartments so that women and their families are able to have a place to call their own and a quiet space to recover, close to medical facilities. Few things can restore dignity to a refugee family like the ability to close their own front door on a flat with walls, a ceiling, a private bathroom and kitchen.
More than just accommodation, CRIBS International provides a home where they can keep their family warm and safe.
For the Love of Learning in the Gambia - sponsored by Violet Robertson, Barbara Russell, Jean Wales and Sylvia White.
Our donations last year supported the studies of the two other teachers at the school. They have now completed their courses and have graduated. We continue to pay the wages of the teachers at the school each month and contribute to the general upkeep of the school.
Amy, who founded the charity, is not in a position to visit the Gambia to report to us first hand. However, she is in constant contact with the Headteacher who, through his training, has the confidence to take the school forward. He has agreed to send a report to the church about the progress being made. This will be circulated when it arrives.
The children make very good progress at the school and are achieving higher than average levels of attainment for pupils in the western region of the Gambia.
Our donations obviously make a significant contribution to this and therefore the future prospects of the children.