Bumper Christmas News

Christmas 2013

Welcome to the bumper Christmas edition of the Alabaré Network News. As you can see, this month’s eNews is a little different… and bigger. We’ve had another busy couple of weeks, and we’re not slowing down for the coming new year just yet either. There’s lots going on at Alabaré in the next month to get you in the festive mood. We hope you enjoy this month’s edition, and cannot thank you enough for all the support you have given us this year. We wish you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Gloucestershire Home for Veterans up and running

 Winter Appeal

As we wrap up in our warm clothes to combat the dropping winter temperatures please spare a thought for the many homeless people who can’t turn their thermostats up to keep warm. We appreciate any donations of warm clothes you give to our Drop-In Centres this winter; scarves, jumpers, hats, gloves – we’re happy to receive it all. If you like to make a donation to the Alabaré place Drop-In centre, please call the centre on 01722 334687. Alternatively you can donate to our Trowbridge Drop-In by getting in touch with Kelly Kelly on 01225 776606.

Community4 Case Study

Community4, our Wiltshire service provided in association with three other organisations in Wiltshire have supported hundreds of people to secure and maintain their accommodation over the last year. Jack* was referred to Community4 recently. He’d suffered a breakdown in his relationship, and had fallen into arrears with his rental and utility bills, which put him at risk of losing his home. Due to his low income he found it impossible to budget all of his outgoings. Community4, helped him to contact everyone he owed money to and informed them of this situation. They put him in touch with the Trussell Trust, who agreed to supply Jack with food parcels, whilst he applied for housing benefit and council tax benefit to ease his situation. Community4 also helped him to complete a retail trust grant application, which was accepted. The application was successful and he was awarded a grant for the full amount of his arrears. Due to the support he has received from Community4, Jack is now able to budget for food, rent, utilities and outstanding debts.
*Names have been changed.

Spotlight on Staff
Inspire Awards
Gloucestershire Home for Veterans up and running

Our latest Gloucestershire Home for Veterans opened its doors on the 5th November. The home has been specifically created to help people overcome all kinds of crises; whilst helping them gain the skills and confidence they need to move on to their own accommodation, work or training. Residents also benefit by becoming part of a community support network which they can turn to for future advice.

Opening the home has been made possible thanks to the dedication of an active group of local supporters, including; the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter DBE, the Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Chris Chatterton and representatives from The Rifles. Funding has come from a number of military charities including ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity, RAFA (Royal Air Force Association) and ARRC (Allied Rapid reaction Corps), as well as local trusts, businesses and supportive individuals.

Launch of Wales Veterans

We celebrated the launch of our Wales Homes for Veterans at the Cardiff & County Club in the Welsh capital on the 27th November. Dr Peter Beck, HM Lord Lieutenant for South Glamorgan, acted as host for the event: thank you to everyone who came along to support us. Next year we will be expanding our veterans programme into a number of areas across Wales. The Armed Forces is an integral part of Welsh Society, with several thousand military personnel based in Wales. The Wales Homes for Veterans project has been planned in direct response to demand from the Armed Forces Community in Wales and the organisations that support them. The project will benefit both male and female veterans from all three services: Army, Royal Navy and RAF.

Riverside House Activity Room

Our service user activity room is now up and running and acting as a fantastic venue for rehearsals of our 2014 Alabaré Pantomime, 'Snow White and the Seven Hoodies'. The upcoming show is written and performed by our learning disability clients and if the 2013 show is anything to go by you’ve got a New Year treat on its way to you in February.

Simon Firth made Patron of Alabaré

Alabaré are delighted to announce that Brigadier Simon Firth CBE has been appointed as a patron of the charity. During his time with Alabaré, Simon has served as an energetic Chairman on the Board of Trustees, Chairman of our Bristol Ambassadors, and currently acts as the Chairman of Gloucestershire Ambassadors. As Gloucestershire Chairman, Simon has worked tirelessly and has raised more than £250k for Alabaré’s veterans’ services. He has also helped the charity to expand its network of supporters. He recently took to the stage of the Gloucestershire Business Awards and gave a rousing speech describing the charity’s work with veterans, and the need for support of ex-forces personnel. He truly is an integral part of Alabaré..

Burpee Mile

Well done to Tom Parker! Tom, one of our Support Co-ordinators for Alabaré's Learning Disabilities Services, raised money to buy a mini-bus for our Learning Disability Homes & Services last month. On the 2nd November he completed a 'Burpee Mile' where he did burpees (an extremely physical challenge where you squat, stretch, pull your legs to your chest, then jump up and throw yourself into a squatting position again) continuously until he completed 4 laps of a standard running track.

If you’d like to congratulate Tom, you can still pledge a donation to him by visiting his fundraising page.

Barford Christmas Fayre

Thank you to everyone who attended the Barford Christmas Fayre. It was a fantastic day, and we are delighted to announce that we raised over £1100 from sales of our handmade Christmas decorations and cookery books on the 16th November. If you’re still looking for a special present for the foodie in your life, or want to inspire someone to give cooking a go: we still have a limited number of our Barford cookbooks available for £5 each. Please email j.moore@alabare.co.uk or call 01722 742298 to get yourself a copy before they sell out!

Annual Sleep-out registration now open

You’ve got a few months to go before the next annual Sleep Out in March but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to register. Why not get ahead of the game with your fundraising by registering support for the event now. For more information please click here.

 Alabaré Good Move

 Calling all Landlords! Have you considered joining Alabaré’s Good Move scheme; which supports landlords who are willing to offer a tenancy to prospective tenants? The scheme also supports residents by providing them with professional advice to help with household budgeting. Our team work quickly to find new tenants for landlords with vacant properties, reducing any voids which may arise. If you are a landlord and are interested in getting involved with the scheme please get in touch Angela Keddie on 01722 322882.

Volunteer opportunity of the month
Events round up…

15th November – Huge thanks to Amanda and Tony Raybone for hosting and organising a magnificent as Kingscote Barn, which also featured the ARRC Military Wives Choir as performers. The support they have given to our Gloucestershire Home for Veterans is greatly appreciated.

19th November – Trowbridge Coffee Morning – thanks to everyone who came along. We managed to raise £155 for the Drop-In Centre.

3rd December – We opened our latest shop in Andover – please do pop in next time you are passing

3rd-8th December – Christmas Tree Festival at St Thomas Church Salisbury - our tree with decorations made by staff and service users was one of over 100 lovely displays.

7th December - Alabaré Network for Learning Disabilities Songs of Praise: 6pm at St Mark's Church, Salisbury – There’ll be music from the Wyvern Dance Band, and some lovely refreshments on sale.

7th December – AIC Christmas Craft Fair - £450 was raised on the day in support of our Gloucestershire veterans. Thanks to everyone who came along to support us.

Events coming up