We are awaiting the faculty to be granted by the DAC. Funds will not be transferred until this has been approved. In the unlikely event that it is not granted, all pledges will be refunded. We have an old church building which we would like to renovate to house several projects such as the Food Hub and Homeless Project. Both projects came about because of the pandemic and had been running successfully for two years. The projects are currently housed at St John's church, but the church has now re-opened and needs the space. There are several phases to this project. The first phase is to restore the old church by carrying out essential building works. The most significant area of concern is the floor and ceiling. We have already raised funds to do this work. We are now trying to raise funding for the vestry roofs. Once this is done, we can move both projects into the building. The second phase is to create a wrap-around youth service focusing on training for employment.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
We want to develop the old church building to provide essential services for the most vulnerable in the Southall community. Many of the people using the Food Hub and the Homeless Project are unemployed, and a significant number are undocumented. The majority of users have little knowledge of accessing support in terms of health, housing and welfare needs. Many have mental health issues and substance abuse dependency. For most, English is not their primary language; neither do they have recourse to public funds. We are clear about the rising need in the community as we work closely with the local authority through the Ealing Together initiative, Hope for Southall Street Homeless, Southall Community Alliance and Young Ealing Foundation. As a result, we think it is essential to create a community hub that provides practical support in terms of advice and signposting in the first instance and training opportunities as the project develops for those in need in Southall.
Steps to get it done:
The projects have supported and worked with the most vulnerable in Southall during the past two years. In that time, we have seen a need for welfare, health, housing and immigration advice, and a need for drug and alcohol support. We run a coffee morning on Fridays to help support those using the projects. This has proved popular with clients, even though our offer is limited because of the lack of space and resources. Nevertheless, it has allowed us to provide help by signposting users to appropriate agencies. More comprehensive service will be offered once the projects are in the old church. However, it confirms that there is a need for such a service in Southall.
About the space
Southall is not an ordinary place. Known throughout the country for its South Asian shopping and restaurants, it is a place of huge diversity (ethnically and religiously) but also a place with huge challenges and problems. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, it faces particular issues around jobs, health and housing.
London Borough of Ealing