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Awards, Recipes & Choirs – July 2022 News

With the hot weather set to continue into next week, we’re continuing to monitor our severe weather provision for clients. From the 11th to 20th July we extended the opening times at our daycentre in Canterbury so that our homeless clients could stay until 5pm (rather than the usual 2pm) to escape the extreme heat. Canterbury Council provided funding as part of their Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to help us cover the additional staff costs during these extra hours we were open. This funding has now ended but we are looking to ensure that we continue to monitor the situation and remain open until as late in the afternoon as possible when staffing allows.

We have also been undertaking extra outreach in areas such as Herne Bay and Whitstable to ensure support, and provision of items, can be given to those who cannot come to our centre.

We are also supporting any rough sleepers who are more at risk from the high temperatures than others (for example due to age or health reasons) to apply for emergency housing from the council.

If you have items such as water, food, sun cream and hats you would like to distribute but do not feel comfortable doing directly please note that we accept such items at our daycentre and can distribute to those who need them most.

Most homeless people will likely be aware of this, due to our outreach and also that of Canterbury Council and Porchlight’s outreach workers who are walking around the town giving out such items, however if you spot anyone in need of help please direct them to our centre or give us a call for advice on 01227 464904.

Don’t forget about our School’s photography competition! Anyone aged 4-18 can enter and you don’t need a fancy camera, pictures from a mobile are great too and can be sent to us any time before 16th September. The theme is “What does Canterbury mean to you?” and there’s a £100 Gift card up for grabs for the winner, as well as runner up prizes.

We’ll choose 12 winners to go into our 2023 calendar and entries can be sent to press@catchinglives.org. More information can be found here.

We have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Kent Charity Awards once again, which is such an honour. It has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone at Catching Lives so far, with an increase in client numbers passing through our doors as the months have gone on, so being shortlisted means a great deal in recognising the hard work of our staff and volunteers.

We are urgently in need of a volunteer to help with our Bookshop eBay site. This involves around 4 hours per week, managing the valuations and listings spreadsheet. Full training can be given, with a supportive and community driven team of volunteers. This is a great opportunity to get involved at our bookshop and you can gain confidence and skills too. We are also looking for someone who can post the books for us once sold. Get in touch with Janey on 07709 556 343 for more details.

Our vision is of a society where all are included and all, no matter how disadvantaged, can make a contribution. Catching Lives works towards ending the harm caused to individuals, families and the community, by homelessness, rough sleeping and insecure housing.

We are currently in need of a trustee with a finance background to become treasurer for the charity. Trustees at Catching Lives meet monthly to discuss the vision, mission and strategy for the charity. Highlights include:

• Considering the long-term direction of the charity, its effectiveness and how to drive it forward.
• Agreeing how any concerns will be addressed and take action as required.
• Managing any issues relating to the employment, supervision, training and support of the coordinator.
• Supporting the recruitment process for staff and agree their appointment.
• Monitoring and managing the charity’s finances, approving expenditure and overseeing fund-raising.
• Fostering partnerships and maintaining links with local partners in Canterbury.
• Adopting and reviewing the necessary policies and procedures.
• Managing aspects of general membership and arrangements for AGMs.
• Ensuring Charity Commission compliance, and satisfying other legal requirements.
• Applying their specific gifts and talents to the various functions of the initiative

If you think you could become a trustee for Catching Lives, please sent a personal statement of why you would be interested in the role and why you would be a suitable candidate to trustees@catchinglives.org

Work with our clients doesn’t stop once they’re in permanent accommodation and we actively encourage them to stay in touch so that we can continue to support them. Part of this is via our Recipe Box Project, which, thanks to the ‘Saving Lives – Suicide Prevention’ fund has kickstarted our ability to run cookery classes for clients every week, as well as recipe boxes delivered to clients in accommodation with a recipe booklet. The project has been overseen by Miriam Ellis, Arts & Activities Co-Ordinator for Catching Lives, with classes run by one of our volunteers, Martin and aided by some students from the Occupational Therapy and Social work departments of Canterbury Christ Church University. We have also invited professionals to deliver some of the classes. You can read more about this project here.

The Unicorn Inn recently held a Music Quiz Night and raised £185 for Catching Lives. We hope everyone had a great evening and thank you for your donation. We also received a donation from the Asda Green Tokens fund of £400 so thank you to anyone that voted for us and to Asda too. Amici Chorus recently held a concert at St Paul’s Church in Canterbury, with proceeds of £348.02 raised for us. A huge thank you to Sue Davis and the Amici Chorus for their efforts.

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