Oasis Update – July 2017

I hope this finds everyone at St Mary’s well.

Its been 4 months since I last updated you all.  It has been an incredible 4 months at Oasis!

Our capital project is moving forward.  We now have the final £100,000 to raise and are also working through the long process of the legals and at the same time the Oasis centre is thriving!

Below is a snap shot of what has been happening in Oasis in the past 4 months:

2,104 total footfall through our doors

103 new people have used our centre for support

881 separate crisis issues were addressed through our RE-BUILD programme

114 clients accessed basic education through our RE-SKILL programme

102 clients accessed our IT workshop and work club through our RE-START programme

10 clients found work (some for the first time in their lives)

A significant impact in the past 12 months has been a drop in the number of our clients suffering food poverty.  In the past 12 months we have given out 108 ‘two week’ emergency food packs. An average of 12 packs per month. This compared to an average of 28 food packs per month from the previous year.  A 133% decrease.  We believe the decrease of need for emergency food packs is due to two key factors.  1) ‘Basic Finance Skills Partnership Programme’ which we launched in September 2016 partnering with local housing associations, banks and debt support groups to deliver fun and engaging debt, budgeting and food poverty awareness events and courses.  2) 1-2-1 Financial Support which we started 12 months ago. Many of our clients have suffered limited education and have lacked the support of a family member or friend to help them learn and navigate everyday finance. We have also seen a decrease in the number of clients being sanctioned over easily avoidable situations e.g. clients not being able to read letters from the job centre giving instructions and clients not attending training course and interviews arranged by the job centre due to mental heath issues, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.   We therefore decided to increased our staffing capacity offering more people suffering financial difficulties 1-2-1 financial support with great success.  We received funding for these two programmes of support which will come to an end February 2018.  Please stand with us in prayer as we trust God to provide the financial resources to provide a further 12 months of these fantastic programmes of support – they are having such a positive impact on our most vulnerable clients.

Here are a few quotes from the people we are able to help because of your continued support!

“If it wasn’t for Oasis I don’t think my kids would have eaten last week. I had a problem with my benefits. I hadn’t done anything wrong. It was a computer error. Oasis calmed me down gave me food and sorted out the problem. I was too angry to ring myself. If I had done I would have lost the plot”.

“Everything was going wrong at home. No one was helping me. I couldn’t work out the bills and they wanted me to ring them and talk about my gas and electric. I didn’t know what to do. Oasis helped me understand and now it’s all sorted and got me an appointment with the CAT (community alcohol team)”.

“My head was all over the place. There was too much stuff going wrong. I’ve been hurting myself cos everything’s a mess. Oasis helped me sort out my bills and spoke to benefits for me. They gave me food and got me in touch with mental health”.

Please send my heart felt thanks to everyone at St Mary’s.  It is hard to put into words what an impact St Mary’s have had on me personally and to the people we are so privileged to serve.  It is wonderful to be able to partner with you to see lives changed for God’s glory and our good!

God bless you all

Victoria

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