What have we been up to?

The last time I put fingers to keyboard Jen had just applied for funding to continue our youth sport sessions at the Dell Stadium in September.  We have managed to continue sessions through-out the summer as Pure Sport Coaches have continued to provide coaching for free and we have been able to pay for the Dell.    I have GREAT news to report; West Midlands Police Active Citizens Fund have agreed our funding application and so Friday Football and Youth Sport is secure for another year! Yippee!  The funding has enabled Jen to book and pay for the venue, we will continue working with the fantastic Pure Sport coaches who we can now fund and thanks to generous and committed supporters we can finance our work alongside Chawn Hill Church.  We are delighted to join our committed partners to invest in these  amazing young people.  The funding aim is to keep young people out of trouble and away from gang culture and knife crime which has been well reported following recent high profile stabbings we’ve all seen in the news.  Sport and accessibility for all is key; something we feel passionately about and demonstrate by continuing these free open sessions – and it’s not just about the guys either! Following on from the success of the England ladies football team we have the beginnings of a girls team.  Previously it’s all been mixed teams so we are excited to see what happens.  Go the girls!

The cafe is really busy with between 60 and 90 visits each week we have recruited another couple of volunteers to help out.  Floyd is one of our new volunteers and his passion is the gym, he is keen to share his knowledge with others and has started to run some training sessions on Friday’s for anyone interested in improving health through exercise.  Our most recent volunteer is a local lad who wanted to get involved after coming to the cafe just to get out of his flat.  He’s loving his new role and is doing a great job. We are looking forward to seeing how things develop for both of them in the coming months. 

We had a visit from the Mayor of Dudley at the beginning of July, the mayors party started at the Black Country Foodbank Storehouse in Albion Street, they then went to Top Church Training and finally to us for refreshments and a tour of the project, thank you to Eileen at Dudley CVS and Sylvia from South Street Baptist Church for sorting out the food and drinks.

We’ve had a tough time supporting individuals with housing issues, the lack of appropriate housing continues to be a challenge and in the last few months promises have been made that just haven’t materialised. We have to thank the individuals that have supported us financially to help those that are particularly at risk; the guy that ended up with no-where to go after being discharged from hospital for example.

And Finally (for now) Stacey was able to surprise Ron thanks to a kind offer of help – it takes some doing to knock Ron off guard so it was all the more precious, it still brings a wide smile to all of our faces to remember his reaction! Ron has been trying for some time to get a ramp for the entrance to the cafe with no success but along came Robbie who offered to build one. Here it is….pure joy.

Thank-you Robbie for making it possible.

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