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On Tuesday 5th May 2015, Fathers House (in partnership with the other churches in Shaftesbury) launched our community project ‘Open House’. As a church family you have all been incredibly important in the journey we have been on since then – from prayer and financial support to hands on roles in the team. Thank you all!

On Tuesday 2nd February we gathered as a team to have some essential training, look at feedback, encourage one another and talk about the new things happening under the Open House banner. It was a great time and I wanted to share some of the ‘statistics’ with you.

In the past 9 months we have;

  • seen 23 individual clients, 16 two parents families, 23 single parent families and 4 couples
  • helped 36 people with housing advice, 48 people with benefits advice, 16 with budgeting and 10 at job club
  • given out 285 emergency aid parcels.

Clients have told us;

  • “I hate asking for help but Open House makes me feel safe” – Selina
  • “I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s great!” – Melissa
  • “It helped us” – David
  • “It’s easy to get what you need” – Hayley

We have also had great feedback from other local agencies and the Police!

What an incredible start! This has been a real adventure – challenging at times but always encouraging when we see what God is doing. One of our biggest encouragements has been seeing 10 of our clients attending church on a Sunday morning and several taking part in Alpha.

We have also recently launched ‘Store House‘, which is another great opportunity to help local families by offering free, good quality second hand furniture.

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There will be more information about Store House in a later article.