Social Care and Community Drop In
You may be aware that The Salvation Army in Tollhouse Street, Great Yarmouth hosts a social care and community drop in, largely for those suffering from homelessness, although not exclusively; aiming to reach out to all those in need at a time when they are perhaps most vulnerable. This includes those suffering from addictions, substance abuse, mental health, emotional and relational breakdowns and many other difficulties that life befalls. The drop in operates currently from 09.30-11.30 on a Monday, Thursday and Friday. Here we offer food parcels and light snacks such as cereals, toast, soup and sandwiches; clothing through our Charity Shop on King Street; a shower facility; clothes washing; sleeping bag and blanket provision along with general advice and a listening ear. Since January we also now partner with other agencies and service providers within the local area.
Some of the organisations that are currently partnering with us are Comeunity, Norfolk Constabulary, GY Community Trust (Ageless Opportunities), GYROS, Voluntary Norfolk (Target Opportunities), GYBC (Housing, Welfare and Homelessness Prevention), Voluntary Norfolk (Voluntary Services Co-ordinator), DIAL and Great Yarmouth Community Housing. There are also other points of referral, such as; Stonham Homestay, Jobcentre Plus and Community Connections Health Trainers.
The main requests are for food and a warm drink; help with substance misuse and housing, advice around volunteering and returning to employment; and for many; a chance to tell their story, build new friendships and, perhaps for the first time; speak to someone who is actually interested and believes in them. We simply aim to provide a warm welcoming environment where people feel safe, at ease, at home and valued, and also act as a point from which people can be directed onto the many other services available, including those of our fellow churches. One of our partners recently said we aim to offer respect, champion belief in everyone’s human potential and to empower people. By providing help and advice and directing people towards assistance with basic skills such as literacy and CV writing, we in turn hope to release and equip people to be able to build a better life for themselves.
The community drop in also aims to reach out to the many migrant workers; many of whom are regularly without employment, income and a roof over their head. Recently we have had literature translated into Portuguese, Russian (Lithuanian) and Polish, so that we can better reach out to those around us. There is a collective desire from all to help in any way we can. However, of course as a church we have the desire to emulate the words of Christ when he said "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." (Luke 4:18-19) One of our partners recently said ‘people, however low life has got for them, are still important and matter to God and thereby to us all’. How true those words are.
As well as working with other organisations, we are extremely keen to join forces with our ecumenical partners in providing a Christian witness. For many of you; this is something you already do throughout the year supporting us at Harvest time and through our Christmas ‘Toys and Tins Appeal’. We would however, welcome anyone who would like to come along and support as a volunteer; helping with the general running of the drop in, helping to meet and greet people as they come into our building or generally just providing a Christ like witness by being wholly available. This is an ideal opportunity for Christians to more closely work together to identify with those most in need and once again live out a life in Christ. For as Jesus said ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' (Matthew 25:35-36).
Long term we hope to develop the services we offer and already there are plans afoot to look at ways in which we can further extend our holistic approach to meeting people’s needs. We would therefore, also welcome anyone who felt they had any specific skills, abilities, time or talents that they would like to offer to the drop in.
If you would like more information or would like to be involved, please contact either:
Lieutenants Rob & Georgina Symons (Salvation Army) – on (01493) 844 229
Leon de Beer (Comeunity) – on (01493) 845 922
or why not visit our website: