News and events Quarterly Newsletters Spring 2021 Newsletter In September 2021 Derby City Mission will celebrate 32 years of demonstrating God’s love and bringing hope to our city and our county. This year alone we have seen God’s presence in our lives and those whom we serve even in the midst of adversity and unprecedented challenges. In 2020, over 6000 individuals were fed through our Basics Bank and clients of our Jubilee debt and advice service benefitted by over £1m (through receiving benefits to which they were entitled, debts written off and grant and trust fund applications). Our Safe Space ministry had over 800 interactions with guests in the month of December alone. We are seeing an increase of need in all areas. The first big challenge last year was a financial one. As the Mission continues to grow and we attempt to move people from chaos to contributing by addressing causes, our financial resources were stretched as our income was insufficient to cover the growth in all our services and ministries. When we realised this, we started working towards firming up our financial position by looking at all our ministries and identifying where the gaps were, and moved to an extremely lean budget which was exceedingly difficult. The whole Mission family, together with our partners, worked hard to ensure sustainability and as I write to you now, it’s so evident that our God has been with us every step of the way. The other challenge we faced, along with the rest of the world, was the covid-19 pandemic and the social, mental, economic and physical devastation it caused but there is hope. The campaign to inoculate the world is going well and Britain has been in the vanguard of this. Derby is well placed for economic recovery being rated amongst the top ten cities for post-covid economic recovery (PwC-Demos Good Growth for Cities, Jan 2021), and as a Mission we have firmed up our financial position. We have an incredible staff team and volunteers. We are making plans to develop our wellness hub, a place for people to belong and from which we can address causes and help empower people to be contributing members of society. As a Mission we are a living testimony to the presence and faithfulness of the Lord over the past year. We would like to firstly thank God for his provision and thank you our volunteers, partners and stakeholders for your tireless dedication and support. Please continue to stand with us as demand for our services increase and as we introduce new services through our wellness hub. This will be a multi-functional space, a place for restoration, where guests receive holistic care for mental, physical and spiritual wellness and we address addictions, financial issues, sense of worthlessness, strains in social relationships and criminal tendencies, a place where people can receive support and care, working together with other agencies in the city who share our passion for the disadvantaged in society, and above all a place where God can be glorified and people transformed. “I am with you always” Matthew 28:20 Derby City Mission CEO - Julio Abraham Big impact with little effort As a charity, there are so many schemes where we can benefit from your individual spending. In most cases you may have to link our charity to your online account, or make a simple change on where you buy your milk and bread. Here are a few ways that Derby City Mission can benefit from your spending, without you even knowing! Your Local Coop Shop on Amazon Shop Online Are you a Coop member? Why not choose Derby City Mission as your local cause and raise funds for our Wellness Café? Every time a member buys selected Co-op own brand products and services at their local Coop store, 2p of every pound they spend is put into our account. Don’t forget to swipe your membership card when you’re buying your groceries. If you’re not a member, you can join at www.coop.co.uk/membership When you’re spending on Amazon, sign in to smile.amazon.co.uk on your desktop or mobile phone browser. Go to Your Account and select the option to Change your Charity to Derby City Mission. It’s the same Amazon we all love, but every time you spend, through Amazon Smile, we will receive 0.5% of your eligible purchases! The ‘Give As You Live’ website has teamed up with over 4,500 online and high street names to support Derby City Mission. When you shop via giveasyoulive.com, we receive a donation from the retailer as a thank you, at no cost to you! Life Together: How reaching out is making a difference. There is no denying that over the last 12 months, the health crisis caused by the Covid- 19 pandemic is now being equalled with a mental health crisis. The restrictions that we have seen during the last year have been unprecedented for all of us, that, coupled with loss of employment, loss of homes and tragically loss of life, we are now seeing the consequences of poor mental health across the work of our mission. Ali Pawlowycz, Befriending & Training Coordinator at Derby City Mission, explains how her team are supporting, and constantly having to adapt to, the complex needs of those individuals they are reaching out to. Firstly, tell us a little about your role and the Befriending Service? My experience at DCM has been in supporting individuals in crisis, whether that is the homeless, those with no food or through the befriending service, who need guidance, encouragement and someone to be there for them. Our aim is to address the causes of their situation and be a stepping stone to freedom. What are the types of situations are you finding individuals to be struggling with? God designed us to do life with others and unfortunately many have been isolated during the pandemic. People are lonely and have faced loss in most cases. This has resulted in low self-esteem, low confidence and many mental health issues. What results are you experiencing? We have a fantastic team of trained volunteers who have a heart for people. We are able to match individuals with befrienders so that they can come alongside them and be a reliable source of support and stability. Our team are supporting clients with attending appointments, encouraging healthy interactions and even being someone to talk to; ultimately bringing hope and joy into many lives. It’s amazing to see the difference in those we are supporting after only a short time of contact. What are the prayer needs for this project? We pray that for every interaction that takes place, a burden is shared and the love of Jesus is shown through the conversations and encouragement. The lockdown restrictions mean that we continue to connect with people via technology, so we also pray that these connections will be strong and that we will be able to physically meet with people soon. The need for this service is great, with more individuals contacting us for support weekly, so we pray that the befrienders will be effective in their roles. For more information, you can find out more here. Overwhelmed By Need AND Generosity During the first lockdown in March 2020, we were inundated by requests for food parcels from people who had lost their jobs or were affected in other ways by the pandemic, many people we’d not been in contact with before. In response we launched our ‘Shop But Can’t Drop’ appeal to help us meet the extra demand for food and we have been overwhelmed by supporters’ generosity. At the same time, we received a sharp increase in food donations despite churches being closed; Asda Spondon shoppers are donating three trolley-loads each week! We have also partnered with the Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance to link up with other food banks in the city. This has enabled us to share resources more effectively and benefit from larger supplies of food from supermarkets and suppliers. As a result, we have not had to buy anything like the amount of food we expected. We work alongside the people who have received food parcels to check that they are receiving the welfare benefits they’re entitled to and help them with underlying debt and financial difficulties. This month we have been able to release Kelly* from £50,000 worth of debt through arranging bankruptcy. What a difference this will make to her life! She said, ‘‘I can’t believe this debt has gone. I’ve had it hanging over me for years and it felt like I’ve been carrying a huge weight for so long. I feel like a different person. My daughter keeps calling me ‘smiley Mummy’ because I just feel so happy and relieved. Thank you so much for your help. I’ll never forget all you’ve done for me.” As we have raised more through the ‘Shop But Can’t Drop’ appeal than we expected, we would like to be able to use some of those funds to support our debt advice service which helps to bring lasting change to lives, meaning people no longer have to be dependent on food parcels. Jubilee, our debt and advice service, is seeing such a high demand from those people directly impacted by the pandemic and unfortunately, over the coming months this is set to increase. *not her real name If you supported this appeal, please could you give us permission to use your donation to support the wider costs of the foodbank and the other support we provide to many of those who use the foodbank, for example our debt advice service? Please contact us by emailing [email protected].