We're midway through the calendar year and have completed another financial year. Once again, our supporters have enabled the provision of practical Christian care. Here is a brief summary of some of the highlights from our Chief Executive Grant Campbell – an extract from his Annual Report.
“The only constant is change” and at Glasgow City Mission we’re regularly reminded of this. We’re over half way through our five year plan and reflecting back on what we’ve achieved you realise that somethings happened quicker, somethings haven’t happened and new things have appeared on our agenda. Every organisations plan must be clear enough to provide direction, but flexible enough to adapt to changing needs and aspirations.
Sticking plaster solutions are only ever effective on surface wounds. The families, small children and vulnerable adults we work with show scars that are deep and painful and require a response we’ve learned from Christ. We seek a loving, gracious, non-judgemental, forgiving and miraculous engagement with Christ, and aim to offer a loving, gracious, non-judgemental, forgiving and miraculous engagement with those God puts in our path.
Child & Family Centre
Our number one prayer for the work of the Child & Family Centre is for appropriate premises to delivery this growing ministry. We’re convinced that ministering to young children and families is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty, social isolation and homelessness. Thanks to the vision of the team and supporters continuing to give, the Centre now runs regularly during the school holidays. This ensures that we can still support vulnerable people even when the schools shut down over the holidays.
Glasgow Winter Night Shelter
Once again the staff, partners and volunteers provided a lifesaving service with the care and compassion that Glasgow City Mission is known for. Around 600 unique individuals used the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter, which is comparable to the previous two years. As with last year the Health & Social Care Partnership seconded staff from the case work team to support the night shelter. This enabled us to directly accommodate people into available accommodation each evening.
Working with the Local Authority & Scottish Government
We continue to work closely with the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, and have positive and trusted relationships at all levels within the Partnership. The Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness looms large on the radar of all providers of Homelessness services within Glasgow. Glasgow City Mission is in the unique position of delivering services in Glasgow which aren’t commissioned. We’ve positioned ourselves in such a way as to be pivotal in the support of vulnerable people in the city.
We’ve been able to participate with the Scottish Government and give recommendations as to how to best combat rough sleeping and homelessness. We’re thrilled to see that all the recommendations that have been submitted to Kevin Stuart MSP have been accepted.
City Ambition Network
The City Ambition Network continues to grow in its influence and impact. Turning Point Scotland joined the Network increasing potential. From a pilot of 10 guests we are now working and supporting 35 individuals across the network. The Scottish Government has recognised the impact of CAN and highlights this as best practice. The network was also recognised in the Scottish Social Care Awards winning the ‘Silo Buster’ category.
We had ambitions over the lifetime of our service plan “Who we are and where we’re going” to explore and then deliver accommodation solutions which worked for people. We became convinced about the impact of Housing First and keen to get a head of the curve explored delivering this model via the Private Rented Sector.
As such we have brought together a collaboration to help us achieve this aim. Working with CAN partners and GHN, Crisis and Homes for Good, we are on our way to delivering Housing First in the Private Rented Sector. We’re now registered as a private landlord and already have our first two tenants, as I write this report, three others are progressing to also become tenants. Not only will this work impact CAN guests but we hope that it will further demonstrate Housing First works and can also work in the Private Rented Sector.
City Centre Project
The addition of Charlie, our Chef, has brought a significant shift to how we deliver our services. We’re able to take advantage of free food sources such as FareShare and build brilliant and healthy menus based on the stock available. We’ve changed how we run each evening, where our volunteers host a table and guests and volunteers sit and eat together. This fosters relationship building and nurtures trusts. This is when ‘Deeper’ can take place and allows as to share who we are and what we can help with.
As Chief Executive of Glasgow City Mission I must say a big thank you to the work of the board, volunteers and dedicated staff team. There has been an incredible amount of hard work put in this year and I witness day in day out the tireless commitment of a team, who often in testing circumstances, seek to do their very best every day. With over 200 regular volunteers at our City Centre Project and scores of volunteers at the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter and Child & Family Centre, we simply could not do this work without them.
Similarly without the generosity and dedication of our supporters who give of themselves financially and prayerfully, Glasgow City Mission would not be able to function or provide practical Christian care to those in need.
There is still much to do, and sometimes the enormity of the task can be overwhelming. We need to remember that it is God’s Mission, not mine, not Glasgow’s, not the Board's or the staff or the volunteers. It is the Mission of God. Resting in Him, trusting in Him, and depending on Him is easy to say, but not always easy to do. Every new year has its challenges, every new year has its moments for celebration. Every new day we simply want to be faithful to God and do our very best with what He has given us.
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