Alabaré's 25th Anniversary
This month we have much to rejoice about as we celebrate our Silver Anniversary: 25 years of transforming the lives of the county’s most vulnerable and marginalized.
We were founded by local husband and wife team John and Alicia Proctor and the Wiltshire based Alabaré Christian Community and have grown from humble roots, supporting one homeless man in their own Wilton home, to a charity with an annual turnover of nearly £7million , 500 dedicated staff and services that include a state of the art Homeless Drop In Centre in the heart of Salisbury, accommodation and support for young people leaving care, development centres for people with Learning Difficulties in Barford and Old Sarum and specialist homes across the South West of England and Wales for Veterans who struggle to adapt to life in the civilian world.
Speaking about the landmark year Alabaré is celebrating, John Proctor says,
“When we founded Alabaré all those years ago, we never dreamt that it would have expanded at such a rapid and successful rate. The heart of our mission was to enable the most vulnerable in our society to live an independent and fulfilled life – even if that was just one person.
“Now, I’m proud to say that with the dedicated support of an incredible staff and an army of selfless volunteers, we consistently help 1000’s of people every year. In 2014/15 alone we helped over 3,000 people to overcome challenge, crisis or social disadvantage, which, for a charity with such humble beginnings, is a staggering number.”
And we have big plans for the future across a number of our services, Andrew Lord says,
“To be celebrating 25 years of service is an achievement in itself but when I think about how many projects we have in the pipeline for the charity, I can’t quite believe how far we have come.
“Over the coming year, we will expand our support to Veterans increasing the capacity of our Homes for Veterans. At the moment we can offer accommodation to 127 people – by the end of the year we hope that will be nearly 200.
"In the future, we’ll be working with Our Enterprise, Wilton Community Land Trust and Redrow Homes to build a new 45 unit Veterans’ Village at the former Land Command HQ site at Wilton Hill. This will be Wiltshire’s first purpose built community for vulnerable Veterans to help them get back on their feet.
“We’re also looking to expand our Learning Disability services by expanding our Old Sarum Garden & Development Centre to provide a customer café and an increased range of horticultural products. These changes will mean we can offer a wider variety of learning and training opportunities.
“We owe all this to the unwavering commitment of countless supporters and volunteers who have been part of our amazing journey. Our 25th anniversary is not only a celebration of the work we do but also of the amazing people who have helped us over the years.”
Although Alabaré benefits from some statutory funding and support from national charities such as The Royal British Legion, SSAFA, Help for Heroes and ABF: The Soldiers’ Charity, we rely heavily on the generous support of the Wiltshire community, (including the Community Foundation) who over the years have raised a staggering amount for various appeals.
During our anniversary year, we will be launching a fundraising appeal in honour our 25th year to ensure that we remain at the forefront of care and support for the most vulnerable amongst us. In the mean time, we're asking local communities and churches located close to our projects to support them in any way they are able to; whether that be through donating their time and skills, or, through financial support or organising a fundraising event.
Martin Field, Director of Income Generation at Alabaré, explains why this local support is so vital in ensuring Alabaré’s growth and survival,
“One of the greatest challenges we face over the coming years is uncertainty around funding. We know that there will be less money coming from Government initiatives. With more people turning to us for help every year , we need to plan for the future to give those we help the assurance that we will be there when they need us.
“We want to build on the good will and support received from those that already know our work and invite others to join us – so that we can secure the next 25 years.
“It sounds like a tall order but I’m confident we can achieve this; our successes over the years have been largely based on the incredible support of our local communities and the partnerships that we have built. It’s not just about money. There are so many ways that people can get involved, I really would encourage people to take a look at our website to find out more about what we do and join us so that the next 25 years will be even more successful.
“Alabaré Place and the other supported housing sites that Alabaré run are beacons of hope for the homeless and vulnerable of the South West of England and Wales. With the help and support of the generous public we can continue to transform lives – help people get back on their feet, rebuild their families and give them hope for the future - for many more years to come.”