12733376_722727894529162_6291741531095824357_nWelcome to the second edition of our quarterly newsletter with news, updates and prayer requests!

Let me first say Happy New Year to all of our supporters and regular givers, we’re really excited about the year to come.

News

  • Christmas seems a long time ago now, but it was less than 4 weeks ago that we welcomed over 120 clients to our Open House Christmas party. With the support of local churches, businesses, organisations and generous donors we were able to provide a lovely Christmas buffet meal, a puppet show and a visit to Father Christmas for the children, and a hamper of Christmas food for each family to take away with them. It was a great evening!
  • Since our last newsletter we have continued to see many returning clients and lots of new ones using our services, and several who visit us every week for the opportunity to just sit, chat & drink coffee!
  • We have seen a big increase in the number of clients needing help with benefits issues and we are looking to train more of our volunteers to become benefits advisors. It would be great to have 2 benefits advisors available every week.
  • Our volunteer team has really grown over the last 3 months with 7 new members joining!
  • We are really pleased to have been chosen for the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ scheme. This means that during January and February local shoppers can vote for Open House by giving us their blue tokens in-store. Depending on the amount of tokens collected Tesco could give us up to £4000! We plan to use this to cover the cost of training more benefits & housing advisors.
  • I reported in October that we had started the process of applying for our own separate charitable status. It’s been a lengthy process, with the Core Team having to draft a 22 page constitution (!), but we are now at the stage of being able to submit the application to the Charity Commission! With our own charitable status Open House will have access to much more funding and larger grants.
  • We have been so encouraged by the increase in regular giving and donations that we have received in the last few months. A much needed answer to pray!

Prayer Requests

Please pray that God would continue to bless us financially so that we can increasingly be self-supporting. Our most immediate needs are:

  • Maintenance, MoT and running costs of our Store House van – the MoT is coming up in March!
  • Emergency Aid – approx £75 per week

Please pray for us to have wisdom as we place our new volunteers into the right roles – so that they will be blessed and be a blessing.

Please pray that volunteers with the right skills, giftings and commitment to be trained as benefits & housing advisors will join the team.

And lastly, please pray that God’s favour will be over the whole project, and that His blessing will be over everyone that comes through the door – that they will know His love through us.

Thank you for your support!

If you would like to know more about Open House or support us by giving regularly please contact openhouseshaftesbury@gmail.com.

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