Supporting the Needy within the Community

Since its very beginning The Salvation Army has attempted to meet a wide range of needs of those whose situation is less than fortunate through no fault of their own. To perform this function in a local environment the Army relies heavily on the generosity of local benefactors  and volunteers willing to give time energy towards the work which we seek to do. To this end a number of activities  are overseen by a Service Group within the Corps, and are available (subject to demand) on a weekly basis as listed below.

Community Outreach Activities

Parent and Toddler Groups

The aim of both parent and toddler groups is to provide a caring and relaxed Christian environment which will offer support and enable friendships to develop for both parents and children. The groups also provide experiences and socialisation skills, within a safe space, to prepare pre-school children for future education. A further aim is to share parenting experiences to help each other gain knowledge and confidence in the responsibility of parenthood.

The Monday group, ‘mainly music’, provides an environment where pre-school children develop skills to enhance their education through the use of music, rhyme, and other related activities, with the participation of a parent or primary caregiver. A 30 minute interactive music session is followed by refreshments and time to play. Craft activities are also provided. Our group is part of the ‘mainly music’ organisation which is based in Melbourne, Australia.

At the Friday group, ‘Mummy and Me’, refreshments are followed by a short session of interactive songs and rhymes. Then there is time for play and chat, together with craft activities to encourage joining in and the development of fine motor skills.

Both parent and toddler groups operate a waiting list when running at capacity, but places become available regularly as children move on to pre-school. For more information please contact us

One2One

One2One is our name for the Salvation Army’s national employment plus project which operates at various corps in the UK.  One2One is part of the corps work to the local community and runs every Monday (except bank holidays!) between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm.  The atmosphere is very welcoming with tea, coffee and biscuits always available while clients wait or chat. The aim of the group is to help unemployed people back into work – we do this by offering help with CV’s, job searches, access to training, making appointments etc.  The reason for calling the group One2One is because we offer clients one to one attention and aim to provide holistic support for them, not just help with applying for jobs.  We are fortunate to have 7 regular volunteers and currently see an average of 17 clients each week . Appointments can last anything from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the person and the need. Clients are referred to us mainly from the Job Centre but anyone who is unemployed and needing support is welcome to come.

It meets every Monday 10am-2pm.

Hub Community Cafe.

The Hub Cafe provides light refreshments and a meeting place with a warm welcome. It also caters for Food Bank clients and supports other Corps activities. Open on a Monday and Friday 10am-2pm excluding bank holidays.

LIFE Project.

This project was initiated following the Winter Warmers programme and is aimed at providing drop – in support primarily for those who are homeless or temporarily displaced. A hot meal is provided plus support which includes input from outside agencies such as Turning Point and the Job Centre. Shower facilities are available. It is done in house and registration is essential for all who attend.

It is open on a Tuesday 7.30 – 9.30pm.

Food Bank.

The food bank facility operates as a distribution point for the Medway Food Bank and follows guidelines set by the Trussell Trust. Food is acquired mainly through public donation and stored centrally. The issue of food is managed by a voucher system where individual vouchers are issued to those in need by various agencies throughout the Medway towns. These include doctors’ surgeries, housing associations, employment agencies, social services and schools. Food cannot be issued unless a completed voucher is presented. Further information can be obtained from Medway Food bank.

The food bank distribution centre is open Monday and Friday 10.30am to 1.30pm excluding Bank holidays.

Christmas Outreach

Christmas is a special time in all families. However, it is beyond the means of some to even think about it being special. It is almost impossible, for some, to cope with everyday needs let alone provide the extras that go with this holiday time. Each year The Salvation Army collects toys and other supplies at its annual Community Carol Concert appeals and from other sources such as front line businesses which sometimes run special schemes to help. These goods are distributed to families in our area for whom Christmas would otherwise be hard to cope with. Names are provided to us by various groups such as Social Services, Doctors, Health Visitors and Probation Officers as well as, sometimes, caring neighbours. We are also able to provide special help with provisions and we know how much this can mean to people. The task of distribution is an onerous one and volunteer drivers are always appreciated as well as those prepared to give up a few hours to help assemble the packages.

It has been possible in recent years, thanks to the generosity and membership of Medway Rotary, to offer a midday lunch on Christmas Day for those who are either homeless or unable to provide for themselves. Check our website for more information.

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I hope that you have found this article both helpful and informative.

Mike Gibbs

Chair of the Service and Ministry Group

January 2018.

 Mike Gibbs

All our activities are run by volunteers and if you would like to become involved or find out more about what we do, please don’t hesitate to contact us