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Catching Lives Latest News: February 2024

A reason to celebrate

This is your February update from Catching Lives. Thanks to your support, we have very nearly reached our £50,000 Winter Appeal fundraising target. We hoped to get there by the end of March, so we are very happy to be nearly there by the end of February. We couldn’t have done it without you.

We need your support now more than ever. We have seen particularly high numbers of clients this month. One morning this week, we had 50 people coming into the centre. With more clients turning to us for help, we also need donations of items to give them, and to keep the centre running, from men’s joggers, jeans and socks to washing up liquid. We keep the list of items we most need regularly updated on our website. Donations can be brought to the centre in Station Road East any day between 9am and up until 7.30pm until the end of March as our extended Winter provision continues. Thanks again for your generosity.

A new activity for clients

Clients have been taking part in a new creative poetry activity at the Day Centre. Michal Kamil Piotrowski, aka Some Cool Words, a visual poet from Folkestone has started delivering workshops on Wednesday evenings. Miriam Ellis, Arts and Activities Coordinator, said: “Everyone who has participated has enjoyed the sessions. Michal will continue working with us after the winter provision ends.”

Recent activities on offer at Catching Lives include gelli plate printing with artist Zo Defferary, creative workshops at Rock, Paper, Scissors with Level 4 students from the visual art department at Canterbury College (EKC) and a Building Blocks project in collaboration with Canterbury Festival as part of STREETS AHEAD Collective, yoga, table tennis and more. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates.

Are you our next Volunteer Coordinator?

Catching Lives is looking for its next Volunteer Coordinator as the lovely Ruth is moving on to pastures new.

Volunteers are at the heart of our charity, with the day centre kitchen and our second-hand bookshop staffed entirely by volunteers.

We’re recruiting a new Volunteer Coordinator with excellent organisational and communication skills to fill this pivotal role. To read more about the role and how to apply visit our website.

Joni Lee to study Fine Art at university

Catching Lives client Joni Lee exhibited his artwork at Beach Creative in Herne Bay in February.

Joni has progressed from regularly taking part in art activities at Catching Lives to a 10-week creative course at Beach Creative and has just been offered a place to study a BA in Fine Art at UCA.

He said: “Catching Lives have supported me with my transition from homelessness to living in my own flat. The creative workshops offered at the centre have allowed me to develop my creative practice and I was encouraged to attend the course in Herne Bay and apply for university.”

Bookshop volunteers

We have some volunteering opportunities at the Catching Lives Book Shop at The Crooked House.

We need volunteers to help in our friendly and busy book shop one morning or one afternoon a week. Customer service experience and an interest in books would be an advantage. Training given.

We are also looking for volunteers to help value, photograph and upload some of our book donations to our eBay online shop, one morning or an afternoon a week. Please note volunteers must be aged 18 or over. Please contact bookshop[at]catchinglives[dot]org and share with anyone you think might be interested.

Some thank yous

Thank you to all our fantastic volunteers who are at the heart of Catching Lives. Thanks again to everyone who has donated to us – financially or with items. A big thank you to Brachers LLP for your amazing donation of £1,000 and to Sam Avery, Tesco Whitstable  Community Champion, for all your support with our display at Tesco Whitstable. Thank you Jane Garbutt for the extremely generous donation from her late mother Mary Powell. Thanks Eris and Canterbury Bakery for your donations of delicious bread and to Edd Withers and Canterbury Residents and Community Group for raising more than £3,400 (including gift aid) with your 2023 Christmas appeal.

We also have two people doing fundraisers for Catching Lives. Nick Rendall is running 10kms a day for 100 days in support of Catching Lives and Matt Gillett is doing an April Fool’s Day walk. Watch this space for more updates on those.

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To receive this newsletter in your inbox, you can sign up here. We post updates throughout the week on Facebook and Instagram.

Donate to Catching Lives Winter Appeal via JustGiving.

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