The reach team have been busy as usual over the past few months. After having some time off during and after the birth of my first child Rosie Grace it was back in at the deep end of helping the most vulnerable families in our community. During that period is has been a time of transition as the food bank phone and food deliveries have been passed to Reg & Helen Gibson.

Food bank: We recently had our food collection at Sainsbury’s in which we again collected near 750kg of food which all had to be weighed and sorted by the super efforts of the team overseen by the watchful eyes of Brenda Smith & Hilary Clift. We also now have a collection box permanently stationed at Asda which Reg empties into our container every 2-3 weeks, add to that 3 local churches that regularly support us with food we are being blessed abundantly so that we can be a blessing to others.

Referrals for food parcels have been steady in recent months and at times very unpredictable with the amount we send out. With this is mind we are aware and have been warned by local community groups and schools that the recent benefit cuts and changes will effect more families and we could potentially be inundated with referrals.

We were able to issue 23 Christmas hampers and gifts to families experiencing extreme financial hardship, the gifts for the mums were kindly donated from all the ladies who attended the ladies day at our church before Christmas – thanks to Lea and her team.

Community Care: It has been a busy time with our community care side of reach.

Completing 15 jobs since Christmas – We have cleared 3 gardens of rubbish and household waste giving families more space and easing tensions between them and the council, cut grass and tidied garden meaning that a young family could move to a more appropriate house, trimmed trees easing neighborly disputes, painted children’s bedrooms putting a smile of their face and improving their living conditions, provided a mattress to a guy who was sleeping on the floor, fitted baby stair gates for a single mum, contributed to gas engineers doing work on a cooker for a guy living alone who had his cooking appliance condemned, provided smoke alarms to a young family who couldn’t sleep at night due to fear of not being able to afford having them installed, cleared a garden of waste and debris providing the single mum with the space to erect a trampoline for her children to play in a safe environment.  We have more jobs lined up for the coming weeks with 2 house clearances to enable Plymouth Community Homes to fit a kitchen in one of the properties and the other to help de-clutter so that we can paint a bedroom and hallway.

Quotes from families we’ve recently helped:

“The reach team worked like Trojans stopping for nothing till the work was done”

“Thank you so much for doing my garden for me, im so happy and its meant after many years I can use it again and the children are so excited”

“I don’t know what I’d have done without your reach team coming in and helping me – you’re my light at the end of tunnel”

“Thank you for all the help you’ve shown me and my family, especially in the dark times you were there for us”

“You showed up at the right time and showed us that people do care, thank you so much”

From a referrer – “Thanks to your team for all your hard work you’ve saved me so much hassle from tenants, I think what your church is doing in the community is commendable and encouraging

We have the pleasure of being asked by St Edwards’s church in Eggbuckland to do a quick presentation and lead their Sunday morning meeting on the 30th June.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their prayers and continued financial support with which we are able to continue to help people

Also I’d like to thank my team for their precious time, dedication and hard work, you really do make a difference to a community lost and without hope.

Dan Taylor

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16