A Letter and a Wish List from the Gt Yarmouth Salvation Army
To view the Wish List please go to the end of the letter.
Dear Friends. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
ow me once again to introduce myself for those I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting. My name is Lieutenant Rob Symons and along with my wife Lieutenant Georgina Symons, we are the Commanding Officers (Ministers) in charge of The Salvation Army here in Great Yarmouth. Many of you I will have no doubt met over the past 2 years or so since we arrived however, I do appreciate there will be some of you I have yet to speak to formally. I hope to be able to change that in the near future.
One of the most encouraging parts of my ministry since arriving in Norfolk is seeing how the churches, schools, nurseries and generally the whole of the community work together. I appreciate for many years, many of you, both in the Great Yarmouth area and the surrounding borough have kindly supported us by donating items for distribution to those less fortunate through our Community Drop In; particularly at Harvest time and Christmas (as part of our Toys and Tins Appeal).
Following a discussion last year, it was felt that it might be helpful for people to know of particular ways that people could help / specific items that were needed for our Community Drop In, particularly as we lead up to Harvest time and I felt it was right to inform our supporters of ways they could continue to help us. The hope is that people will be able to consider in a more informed way what they might want to contribute or even provide opportunity for people to sponsor items throughout the course of the year as a wider way of us working together to make a difference in the lives of people who often need just a little encouragement and support.
The enclosed list is indicative of the type of items we use on a weekly basis and are always in demand for. As you can appreciate, the majority of the food items donated are stored and used throughout the year and as many people have extremely limited (and in some cases no) cooking facilities; this somewhat limits the type of donations that we can most effectively use however, generally we can always find a grateful home for almost any donation; particularly through working with our partners and fellow Churches. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to support the work of the ‘Herbie's’ Community Drop In here in Great Yarmouth or the work of The Salvation Army.
I trust you understand the sentiment of this letter. I know from my own experience, how vital your support has been, how we could not have achieved anywhere near as much as we did for the Kingdom without you and I have seen first hand how your sacrificial giving has been richly blessed. Equally, if anyone would like to hear more about the ways in which God has been working over the past 2 years, I would be more than happy to come and tell you. This letter is also in part to recognise and thank you once again for that and of course welcome your support once more; should you feel led to do so.
Whilst I am here, I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on what we currently provide and the type of work that donations will go towards. Amongst our varied weekly programme, as you will know we have a community drop in, predominantly for those suffering from some form of vulnerability although not exclusively, that we host between the hours of 09.30-11.30 on a Monday and Friday and between 12.00-14.00 on a Thursday. Here we offer food parcels, clothing through our Charity Shop in 167 King Street, a shower facility, a clothes washing service, sleeping bag and blanket provision, an employment resource centre where people can search for jobs online, prepare a CV or complete some online learning along with general advice and a listening ear. One of the main areas we are involved in at the moment is teaching people how to use a computer and get on line and even how to use other basic items such as a digital camera or a mobile phone.
Whilst we as The Salvation Army host the project; we are supported by a range of agencies, including; NORCAS, Norfolk Constabulary, Voluntary Norfolk, GY & Waveney MIND, GY Borough Council, Jobcentre Plus, DIAL, the Community Mental Health Team, GYROS, the NHS (smoking cessation), the British Red Cross, and a dedicated team of volunteers. Other organisations who have also had some involvement are the CAB, Leeway Domestic Violence Service, Community Health Trainers, GY Community Trust and Stonham Housing to name just a few. The project aims to provide vulnerable people (in the widest sense of the word – we welcome anyone in need of assistance) with an accessible, friendly environment, in which they can be supported by the agencies involved to address a wide range of issues, including health (mental and physical), housing, substance misuse, training and employment, basic life necessities (food, showering, clothes washing), domestic violence, crime reporting, and at times of course, most importantly, a chance to meet with God and pray. Over the past 2 years, I am pleased to report that we have given away on several occasions’ free bibles to those who’ve asked along with copies of Mark’s Gospel and leaflets explaining who Jesus is. God is working in a powerful way. We may not always see it. However, I am sure he is right there in the midst of all that we are doing.
Since the project's inception, we have seen almost 600 different people who have accessed Herbie’s and The Salvation Army for support, with Herbie’s having a daily footfall of anywhere between 20 - 50 people. An important aspect of the project is that Herbie’s is a partnership; it is not a separately funded initiative or a stand-alone organisation. The name simply signifies all the agencies’ commitment towards providing a more coordinated and aligned service to vulnerable people and gives the project an identity of its own. And of course, it embodies the partnership of the Body of Christ too.
One of the consumables that we use most; as you can imagine is food however, more and more basic items such as pillows, sheets, duvets, sleeping bags and other linen type items are increasingly in demand. Please find below, an overview of the help we were able to give last year compared with the year before.
Sleeping Bags / Blankets / Duvets
Clothes Washing / Drying
N.B – Often, bed linen included sheet, pillows, pillow cases etc. The food parcels on occasion may have ranged from an individual to those for smaller / larger families. Clothes
Washes will have ranged from one load to several loads per person.
In addition, through our Toys and Tins Appeal, over the Christmas period, we catered for the following:
· 243 families;
· 253 adults received presents;
· 317 children received presents;
· 284 adults received food parcels / hampers;
· 273 children received food parcels / hampers;
So all in all, we distributed almost 1400 food parcels which we simply could not have done without your kind and generous support. We are always keen to inform people of where the food donations come from and this is an excellent opportunity to display first hand, particularly how the churches and schools / nurseries are working together to impact people’s lives and champion social justice. We have seen many success stories, with several people having their lives transformed by partners working together; we have even seen people return to employment, secure housing, receive much needed support with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions, help with collating their CV and accessing training courses to aid their personal development.
If you would like to know any more about the work that we do, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know. And of course, if you would like to support our work in any other way (once again I echo how many of you are very kind in supporting us at Harvest and Christmas time), you would be more than welcome. You can find out more information by visiting www.salvationarmy.org.uk/greatyarmouth
and clicking the link to our Social care and Community Programme; Herbie’s.
I hope this letter in a small way emulates the appreciation we have for your kindness and generosity and serves as a reminder of how each and every one of us can really make a difference and impact the Kingdom of God. We look forward to working with you in the near future.
Warmest greetings, Kind Regards and God Bless,
Lieutenants Rob & Georgina Symons
‘1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Long Life Milk
Sachets of Coffee / Hot Chocolate
Sachets of Milk
Sachets of Sugar
Cup a Soups / similar
Pot Noodles / similar
Individual Cake Bars
Individual Cold Drinks (e.g. bottles / cartons)
Tins of Fruit
Tins of Custard
Tins of Rice Pudding
Swiss Rolls etc
(**Tins preferably with ring pull)
Tins of Tuna / Fish
Tins of Corned Beef / Meats
Tins of Soup
(**Tins preferably with ring pull)
Pasta type dishes e.g. Pasta and Sauce (Packets)
Packets of Savoury Rice
Jars of Paste / Sandwich Filling
Jars of Jam and Marmalade
Tinned Ready Meals
Tins of Beans and Sausages
All Day Breakfast etc
Individual Variety Pack sachets
Individual Porridge Sachets
e.g. Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Deodorant, Hair Gel, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Flannel and Sponge, Soap, Razors, Shaving Foam, Aftershave products, sanitary products.
Shoes and Clothing
All items of shoes and clothing can be accepted.
Other Larger Items and including General Bric a Brac
Other items including furniture, electrical goods, bric a brac, cutlery and crockery, books, DVDs, Videos and CDs along with any other general donations can be received at The Salvation Army Care and Share Shop, 167 King Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2PA. Tel: 01493 858 147. Opening Hours = Monday – Saturday from 9am-3.30pm.
For more information, contact:
Lieutenants Rob & Georgina Symons
The Salvation Army
Great Yarmouth Citadel Corps
Citadel Tel: 01493 858069