CHATHAM SALVATION ARMY SERVICE GROUP MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2019
IN CHURCH STREET, CHATHAM
AT 8 PM
Mike Gibbs in the chair
Major Ian F Payne
Jean Jones, minutes
- APOLOGIES Marilyn Watson, Sheena Gibbs, Mike and Muriel Rowley, Marjory and Bev Hudson, Susan and Peter Willard, Charlie Gouyet. Major Peter and Estelle Clack.
In the absence of Marilyn Watson, Penny Clay led devotions. She said that in OnetoOne questions are often asked of us as to why do we provide the service. It is easy to answer that we do this because we love God and want to show our love to others. As we strive to be good we need to trust God to help us serve others. We should persevere. 1 Peter 2:21 ‘To this you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps.’ We thank God for giving us these opportunities. Penny then opened in prayer.
The minutes of the last meeting held on 3 June 2019 were agreed as a correct record
4a. MATTERS ARISING
- Cross in the Bradbury Hall. Nothing to report
- Washing machine. Nothing to report
- Alarm panel zones. Fire alarms have been tested and work.
- CHRISTMAS PARCELS
All being organised. Meeting regarding hampers to take place between Ian, Paul, Wendy and Sam then publicised.
- L.I.F.E. PROJECT
Major Ian reported that numbers are increasing. Last week 46 meals were served sitting down and 25 takeaways. Clientele are changing with new ones coming who are younger. Volunteers are working well with some new ones joining the team.. All going well. Open at 7 o’clock and following the God spot the meals are served. Very good teamwork means that it is finished by 8 is. Disappointment that the Sexual Health Advisors who were planned to come next week are not now coming. Major Ian will take the matter up with the Homeless Forum. A deputy leader is needed.
- MEDIA OUTREACH MINISTRY
Still operating well. Nothing untoward to report.
- FOODBANK REPORT AND CONCERNS
Mike reported on Fran’s behalf. 33 families have been provided for this last week. The Foodbank warehouse isn’t getting the large donations they need and provisions are scarce. Businesses aren’t donating, maybe due to the administrators previously implying they didn’t have room for large donations. Major Ian says that the Salvation Army will not refuse any large donations. More local donations can be encouraged.
There are ten volunteers who work superbly in our Foodbank hub. Referrals are still being made to Employment Plus and to Mummy and Me (there is a waiting list but this can sometimes be adjusted in case of need).
- PARENT AND TODDLER GROUP REPORT
Sue Willard reported as follows:
Mainly Music/Mummy and Me report for Service and Ministry group meeting 23rd September 2019
Team members: Sue, Alma, Patti, Irene, Rae, Lesley, Val and Norma.
The parent and toddler groups finished the summer term with some fun activities and a few goodbyes. The end of term was celebrated with sports day – and ice cream, which always goes down well! Several children were leaving the groups to start school, and their farewell was marked with an informal ceremony. Wearing graduation caps and gowns made by Majors Raymond and Pat Brown, the children posed for photographs. They were also presented with a certificate and a toddler Bible to remind them of their time in the group.
The final meeting of the term was held at the Strand, as has been the custom for quite a few years. About a dozen families, some with older children or grandparents in tow, enjoyed a time of fellowship, play and a picnic. The weather was perfect and it was a great way to end the year.
We have only just started the new term, but will be welcoming some new families in. A full programme of activities has been planned and we are already looking ahead to Christmas…
Our annual coffee morning to raise funds for Macmillan cancer relief, held in memory of Verna, will be during the morning of Friday 4th October. This is usually well supported by our parent and toddler families, as well as corps folk.
As usual, I would like to thank all the team members who give of their time and energy each week, and the wider church family for their prayerful support and encouragement. Sue Willard
- ONE2ONE EMPLOYMENT PLUS REPORT
Penny reported on this service as follows:
‘On average the client base remains around 15, being a stable group some of whom have been coming since the inception. However, since circulating publicity we have attracted a different set of clients whose motivation and employability is greater and who are able to search for work unaided. The extra chrome pads have been beneficial. A couple of the new clients have secured employment relatively quickly and one has part time work so continues to come to find the extra hours needed. The advantage of Universal Credits is that this man is able to work part time hours without losing money as the difference is made up.
Some clients have just needed help with CV preparation, form filling and instruction on the technology in order to work independently. Some clients have needed help with attending assessment interviews and interview techniques.
Currently we have seven volunteers but not all are able to attend every week so more would be very productive.
Alongside Heather, whose work with the clients who struggle with reading and writing is invaluable, we have a new teacher Lynne Cornwell, who has volunteered her expertise in this brilliant chance for our clients. This one to one opportunity is not on offer anywhere else! Although our regular clients have not been able to secure employment, the change in their demeanour and attitudes have been quantum leaps for many, and they consider they are valued and have friends, which is our aim as well as securing jobs.’
It is good to know how well this service is progressing.
Major Ian reported that Medway Adult Education will be hiring the Bradbury Hall from 9 – 12 each Wednesday for literacy classes.
- HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES
There are no specific Health and Safety issues to report.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Major Ian reported that a hall cleaner will be employed in the near future. This is in the pipeline.
A quartermaster is to be appointed with a team to cover the upkeep of the hall.
A Community Sunday will be planned before Christmas particularly with the aim of highlighting the valuable work done by volunteers who keep the community services going.
- CLOSING PRAYERS
Major Ian Payne closed the meeting in prayer at 9 o’clock.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 20 January 2020.