Welcome to the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter, updating our volunteers and supporters on the work of Open House.
- You may recently have seen some of our volunteers standing outside Tesco, collecting for our Christmas Hamper Appeal. Shaftesbury shoppers were very generous and donated a huge amount of Christmas goodies, as well as almost £400 in cash and gift cards. We will shortly be making up hampers to give out at our Christmas party and the cash donations will cover the buffet meal that will be served.
- After a busy summer we are now full steam ahead with planning our Christmas party, for the those people that we have supported this year. This event is a great opportunity to connect with our clients and let them know that they are loved. We will be catering for around 150 people (including children) with a lovely meal, a present for each child under 12 and a hamper to take home.
- Once again Virginia Hayward have been very generous in supplying 50 hampers with some luxury items in and an additional 50 boxes for us to make up our own. We have also approached the Shaftesbury Rotary Club about sponsoring the children’s presents.
- We are pleased to report that our application for charitable status has been successful! We are now a registered charity in our own name and this will mean that we can more easily apply for grants and funding. Because of this change we will be transitioning over to a new bank account in the New Year, so we’d like to give our regular supporters forewarning that we will be sending out a new standing order mandate form and gift aid declaration to sign.
- We have been really pleased to have several conversations with the new Mayor of Shaftesbury, Tim Cook, who has indicated that he would like to make Open House Shaftesbury his chosen charity to support! This has been a real boost and will mean more exposure and hopefully more funding for the project.
- It is almost a year since we were awarded £4000 through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme (blue tokens). This amount was earmarked for training purposes and we are happy to report that we now have 4 more benefits & housing advisors who are trained (or in the process of being trained) to deliver advise during our drop-in sessions. It has made a huge difference to have 2 advisors in each area every Tuesday , helping more people. We also have plans to deliver safeguarding training to as many of our volunteers as possible.
- We have recently been contacted by a local Shaftesbury resident who would like to do a charity run, and had been looking for a local charity to support! He will be running up and down Gold Hill 120 times (equivalent to a marathon)! This will be taking place on Sunday 22nd December starting at sunrise. Over the next few weeks will we publicising this as much as possible to maximise the amount we can collect for Open House. What an incredible challenge!
Please pray that we find favour with the Mayor, Town Council and businesses in Shaftesbury, and an increase in support.
Please pray for all the finances necessary to continue the work and even expand in the future the services that we can offer.
Please continue to pray for the team every Tuesday, as they meet and seek to help people in difficult and vulnerable situations.
Thank you for your support!