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Alive in Faith – bringing good news to the poor

A £10,000 Alive in Faith grant has been made to the Reach Community Projects ecumenical group specifically to enable community outreach workers to address issues associated with rural poverty, providing home visits to isolated individuals in need of help with form filling etc.


Reach Projects Director, Henry Wilson, said: “Partly due to the Alive in Faith funding we appointed two advisors cover an area within a 10-12 radius of Haverhill with the aim of tackling rural poverty. Tina covers the South Cambs area and Jo the Suffolk area.  There have been some great outcomes for families that we would not have been able to reach two years ago.  But we recognise that we are, in effect, only scratching the surface.”

Nicola’s story:

Outreach advisor Jo has been helping a family with a two-year-old child in a village near Clare. They are both working but have ‘zero-hours’ contracts and have got behind on rent and council tax.  Fortunately, Jo was able to take a box of food and top up their electric meter with client aid and then set up affordable repayments to try and help this young family through a difficult period in their lives.  They are not ‘out of the woods’ by any means, but Jo received a text from them recently saying “thank you… that will help us so much and when we’re more stable… we can donate and give back and help someone else in financial difficulties.” 

Pictured above is outreach worker Jo, left, with Nicola and her child.


Michelle’s story

Michelle and her family were referred to Reach by a local youth worker who was concerned about the children being bullied at school due to their poor uniform.  They discovered that Michelle and her husband, who both have disabilities, were sleeping on a mattress on the floor and were struggling financially whilst their DRO’s were being processed.  Reach bought new uniforms and school shoes for the children as well as a new bed for the parents.  They also worked together with another local charity to help them move to a more suitable bungalow in Sawston and jointly bought them a new hob and cooker for their new home.  The family has been supported with many food boxes and with sorting out their benefits after Michelle was diagnosed with cancer.  They have now moved home and have been signposted them to another charity for ongoing support in their new area.

Michelle said: “Thank you so much for everything, you truly don’t know how much it means to us all and we wouldn’t have been able to get through Christmas without the support we received from Reach.”

Pictured above is outreach worker Tina, left, with Michelle.

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