In recent months, Phil Morton, Head of Relief of Poverty, has been on a fact finding mission, meeting with every head of housing in each of the 12 local authority areas in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.


Phil has been helping key leaders to identify local area issues with a view to sharing Derby City Mission’s best practice initiatives. The main focus has been on preventing, rather than reacting to homelessness.

During my investigations, it became clear that the main area of concern for many leaders is still
Derby City and I am encouraged by the momentum gathering for our pilot mentoring scheme to
be launched in the New Year. However there are some areas in need of a helping hand including
Chesterfield and Ilkeston.

Armed with spiritual fruits of faithfulness, patience and modesty, Phil has been spending time with projects in these areas to look at what they’re currently doing and what more could be done to help the most vulnerable in our society. Phil’s gift is definitely in his ability to network, build relationships and improve communication between local authorities and church groups.

Building on the relationships Phil has established over the past few months, he has been invited to assist in exploring the possibility of 2 nightshelters to cover the winter period; one in Mansfield and one in Burton. Similarly, working in partnership with Lighthouse Homes, Phil has helped to establish a new 35 bed hostel in Chesterfield.

There are some areas in which I still need to establish key contacts, but there is receptiveness to
our presence and our desire to support and improve what already exists.

Let’s pray for this favour to continue as Phil works in partnership across Derbyshire and East Staffordshire to further prevent homelessness.

Photo credit: Tim Gossling - Derby Church Net