At our recent launch event held on the 5th of May, Tony and I presented to those attending, explaining where Fresh Hope had come from and where we look to be going. The attached presentation in no way communicates the full story and we did not record the event. Nevertheless for those of you who were not there, it gives a flavour of what was discussed.
We also showed a video of about the School House Cafe which you can watch below
In terms of current and future projects, the following will provide a bit more detail.
The School House Café
School House Café is a community focused café in St Paul’s, Cheltenham. The idea is to provide a hub for the community, both the long term residents and students at the campus opposite. Apart from providing a Café offering high quality products at affordable prices, we plan to organise and facilitate activities for various parts of the local community. In addition, the Café is working towards offering employment experience for vulnerable adults, as a stepping stone to help them to get into employment. The Café opened in October 2016.
The School House Café – Cycle Project
Connected to the Café, this is a project designed to service, repair and refurbish cycles. The project team meets once a week at the moment and is concentrating on refurbishing cycles for future sale. Like the Café, the cycle project is working towards offering employment experience for vulnerable adults, as a stepping stone to help them to get into employment. The cycle project began in January 2017.
Jigsaw will be the over arching name for Fresh Hope’s family outreach project, which began in May 2017. It encapsulates the sense of a number of different pieces building up a bigger picture, with each piece having importance. We will start with Jigsaw St Paul’s on Monday mornings. This will focus on local families with pre-school aged children. We will also run Jigsaw, Friends and Family, a group for families with whom we have existing relationships. This group will meet occasionally, and has in fact already met twice in the School House Café. On a Tuesday morning we will run a group at Cornerstone in Oakley/Whaddon which will be open to all families with pre school children and will specifically welcome families with children who have additional needs. It is expected that the number of meetings and locations will grow over time. It is also anticipated that the structure of the groups will evolve as we get a better grasp of the needs of the families that we serve. In everything that we do we are looking to build community, affirm and value parents and help to equip them for family life.
In Cheltenham there are a significant number of people who believe that some form of homeless shelter should be provided. But is this what is really needed, and if so what form should it take? Fresh Hope are considering putting together a working party to consider these questions and make recommendations in the second half of 2017.
There is anecdotal evidence that 1 in 4 patents visiting a GP surgery do so for issues other than their physical health. Many GPs feel ill equipped to deal with mental health issues and almost never have the time to listen to these patients properly. Some practices in major cities have introduced a Chaplaincy or listening service, which provides people with the time to listen to patients, increasing the effectiveness of the GP practice. Fresh Hope is at a very early stage in talking to individuals who have an interest in bringing this idea to Cheltenham.
The Language Café
The Language Café is based in Brunswick Baptist Church in Gloucester. It was started in 2015 after inspiration from the New Wine summer conference. It provides an opportunity for Refugees and Asylum seekers to learn English in a way that is different from and complementary to English lessons offered by others in Gloucester. The teachers are more embedded into the group using a buddy system with some up front teaching. Everyone learns together, so that those better at English can help those who are less good. It is a community approach, with a big focus on learning through doing (trips etc.). There are also fortnightly meals with 80 – 100 people cooking for each other.
Vision for the Language Café is to continue to develop a community, friendship and embedded learning approach but also to focus on teaching English while doing other things such as creative painting, gardening, growing vegetables, sowing and making clothes, cooking and baking. The dream would be that the output of the doing could bless other parts of the community. Fresh Hope is exploring how we might help this existing project move towards its vision.