We are two mornings into our new project… ‘InSight’, which has begun according to plan.
Life after the Easter break was quite frenetic, particularly in getting the kitchen cleared out and equipped ready for its new use.
Many trips to charity shops, and a bargain sale – for caritas donations of course – enabled us to reach a fresh, clean and ready-to-cook space. Paperwork was also required, not least a risk assessment and DBS checks.
Materials for activities were collected and purchased where necessary but the set up costs have been fairly low. The total sum to set up has been about £300 and we have received support from Caritas as well as many small donations from parishioners. This has given us a useful sense of security that we have funds to work with for a few months; allowing us time to focus on gaining experience of the group and create our own fund raising ideas.
A member of the Caritas team has offered to run a sponsored race for us and this initiative will hopefully be mirrored by one or two of our own parishioners. More than just the money, this will serve to publicise the project to parishioners who have not yet heard of or got involved with this new parish initiative.
Without any advertising about 9 people have attended the first two mornings. This has allowed our volunteers time to get into the rhythm of our group activities. Preparing a meal and eating together is the highlight of the morning and it has caught some of us unaware just how intimate and special this is. We hope to begin advertising in a week or so but realise the need is great and there may well need to be a controlled approach to opening out our communication.
We meet under the name of ‘InSight’. A name that was considered not patronising by all attendees and one that offered a commitment from us that we have each other ‘in sight’, and use our ‘insight’ as a guide to listening and serving
Psalm 133 describes the blessing that comes from living in unity. This theme was shared with our team of volunteers because there was so little time to bond before opening our doors to guests. Having said this, as each volunteer has shared her or his desire to be of service to the ‘InSight’ community, we have found it easy to work together from the outset.
No doubt we have a steep learning curve over the next few weeks and months and we hope to be ready for that. In a city like ours there are many initiatives and we are grateful to our new-found colleagues who have welcomed us into the wider support network.