The Adept Social Committee have recently visited their chosen charity’s community support centre in Leeds. It was a fantastic opportunity to see St Vincent’s activities in action. The support centre has a charity shop to help raise funds, but it also provides invaluable support services to the local community. Their core services include educational training courses, immigration guidance, debt advice and counselling support. The centre helps people throughout their journey to achieve personal goals, whether they are overcoming language difficulties, seeking financial independency or searching for meaningful employment. There is also a community café in the centre which provides free hot meals.
St Vincent’s also provide food parcels to families or individuals in crisis. Each parcel contains three meals for three full days, household essentials, toiletries and baby items for families with young children. Parcel distribution is based on a referral basis (by a GP for example). The centre is experiencing ever increasing demand (often 10-15 referrals a day) and is entirely reliant on the generosity of individuals and local companies like Adept. Tesco Seacroft, Costco and M&S donate surplus food to the centre on a regular basis.
Over the last few weeks, the Adept team have been collecting items to donate. The Adept Social Committee visited the centre during St Vincent’s Stay and Play session for local children. These informal sessions are held every week day, throughout the school holidays. Fun, and engaging activities take place, but the main aim is to combat hunger for local children – the children are given a nutritious breakfast and lunch.
St Vincent’s also organise and fund a number of outdoor activities, very recently almost 50 children and adults visited Temple Newsam together.
Another main focus for St Vincent’s is to tackle social exclusion. They hold a range of activities and groups to promote social confidence, education and employment and community cohesion. The activities include ESOL courses (designed for people who do not speak English as their native language), friendship groups, work clubs, cooking classes, IT classes, art groups, table tennis and a dementia café. St Vincent’s have a very inclusive ethos – their doors are open to anyone who may need help, irrespective of their faith, ethnicity, age or gender.
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