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Catching Lives Newsletter June 2023

  • Catching Lives empty larder shelves
  • The Catching Lives stall at Pride Canterbury
  • The Pride bunny at Canterbury Pride
  • Catching Lives banner for Pride Canterbury
How the cost-of-living is affecting Canterbury charities helping those most in need

Hello! It’s been a busy month at Catching Lives as we’ve continued to see an increase in demand for our services due to the cost-of-living crisis.

In the past month, we worked alongside Canterbury Food Bank to put out a joint story on how our two charities are forking out more cash than ever to meet rising food bills. You can read all about it here.

Our Chief Executive Tasmin Maitland spoke about how we often find ourselves running low or out of key items such as sugar, handwash, coffee and biscuits that in the past have been donated. The story was picked up by Kent Live, which can be read here.

In the news
Graeme Solly

This wasn’t our only media coverage. Project Leader Graeme Solly was interviewed by Pat Marsh on BBC Radio Kent about the vital work Catching Lives is doing.

Graeme, speaking live from our day centre in Station Road East, told Pat how Catching Lives provides essential services to people every day of the year. Tasmin, who was about to complete her 100 miles in May walking challenge, also got a shout out.

Well done Tasmin for scaling a good portion of Kent during the challenge through all types of weather and for smashing her fundraising target.

Pride Canterbury

We were proud to have a stall at Pride Canterbury as the event expanded to two days for the first time ever. Clients, staff, students and volunteers spoke to members of the public about our work and took donations for badges, tote bags, cards and mugs.

The brilliant ‘Blind Date With A Book’ which features at the Catching Lives bookshop in The Crooked House, Palace Street, was also on sale at Pride. Thank you to everyone who came and said hello, who volunteered their time and who donated. 

A special thanks to Zo Defferary who worked with clients in the lead up to Pride to make a colourful Pride banner from recycled fabrics and designed and made the badges. Zo also made us a Pride bunny who proved popular on the stall. They were photographed with ambulance staff and even Kent Police. A big thank you as well to Rock, Paper, Scissors for letting us use their printing facilities and Simon Langton Girls for making the cards.

Thank you

Meanwhile, the Root To Resistance garden project in partnership with Herne Bay in Bloom, continues. Clients have been busy coming up with ideas and putting them into action every Tuesday.

We are grateful to Lucy and Staf from Herne Bay in Bloom for their time and energy.  A group of clients, staff and students also visited the Abbey Physic Community Garden for inspiration and enjoyed a lovely lunch. Thank you to Suzanne and the team for having us.

We would also like to thank Blean Rotary for their donation of 15 tonnes of compost and a generous financial contribution too that will keep the project going. Thank you Sam from Rosewood Acres Farm for helping us store the compost. 

A visit to the Abbey Community Physic Garden

We are now seeking financial support to keep our afternoon activities, such as Nervous Drawing and Painting with artist Alex Boican, running through the year. One client who has been attending the sessions said: “It has helped build my confidence so much.” Thank you Alex! If you can help, please contact press@catchinglives.org.

Speaking of volunteers, we are recruiting a board secretary. The deadline to apply is 30th June. More info here.

In the past month, we have also had Herringbone Kitchens come and cook for us, had a visit from the Lord Mayor of Canterbury Jean Butcher and Lady Mayoress Di Baldock and from Patrick du Cassé and Debbie Wilkes from The Philip and Connie Phillips Foundation, which gave us a £10k grant towards our Volunteer Coordinator role. You can read about that here. Herringbone Kitchens also gave us a £2,000 donation, which is gratefully received.

Did you know we post regular updates and photos across our social channels on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn? Do follow us to be kept up-to-date. We also put specific call-outs on there. For example, we need sun cream and small bottles of water in hot weather. We also always need tea, coffee and sugar. Donations can be dropped off to the day centre in Station Road East any day of the week between 9am and 4pm. Thank you to everyone who responded to our call-outs this month including for biscuits! We were also delighted to receive a very big bag of sugar.

You might have noticed we are posting on social media more. That’s partly because Becky Barnes, known as B, is doing some work on communications and fundraising for us. If you want to get in touch with her, she can be reached on press@catchinglives.org.

Other new info on our website includes how to help homeless people in hot weather and how Catching Lives combats loneliness and reduces social isolation.

Until next time, thank you for your support!

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