All in a name…
Like ripples in a lake our project is starting to catch the attention of our parish. We have an anticipated start date and training day in April and there is now a list of practical things to do before Easter.
At our third meeting with the Caritas team, and with a wider parish group than before, we presented our research findings. It was revealed that there is an obvious gap in provision in the City, that there is no provision for those recovering from mental illness on a Tuesday; no place for that community to meet and share a meal. Having visited similar Church outreach projects, we also realise that filling this gap is achievable. Very exciting, and affirming that our desire matches the need.
The space we have available is particularly suitable for this type of activity. Our hall is pretty central in the whole Cathedral complex and comes with a basic kitchen, good enough for groups to cook together. Yes, preparing a meal and eating together builds community so we are keen to offer this but we will also offer more – activities relevant to the recovery of our community including life skills as well as enjoyment.
We may well have let this idea settle for a while without the Caritas team pushing us on. Caroline Virgo has reviewed all the research and actions required, not easy, and met regularly with our naturally rising project lead, Sue Cregan, as well as a small core group to make sure tasks are on schedule. Schedule? Yes, we have agreed to Caritas’ suggestion of 12 April. Why? Because in theory we can do everything that is required by then and since there is a need now, why wait?
Maybe some of our first group of volunteers are falling away because they work on a Tuesday but a call last weekend from the pulpit has brought together some new names, with a variety of skills and experience, which is humbling and gratefully received.
We also have investigated sources of food and funding – including a contribution from the Caritas group – as well as an offer of a new oven (no one can remember the origin of the existing one!) and thanks to the skills of people on the Cathedral site we are ready to build some flower beds, just one of the activities planned.
With a deadline and a plan, it is increasingly easier to think of ways to fundraise ourselves. Small amounts of money go quite far with this type of project – we were able to rescue some old worn-out stone from the fabric of the Cathedral last week and by pieces for sale (some placed on graves, some Easter Garden stones, some a souvenir of a forthcoming wedding, etc) raised enough for a mobile phone to support the project for a year!
So back to the action list, we have to print cards to distribute to invite new members to attend the group but we have no name
… but we will have by the end of Friday, please God.