Homelessness is an extremely complex issue that is rarely independent. It is something that many of us are unsure of how to handle. We may feel called to do something, but what? That is the difficult part. We are told not to give people money because that can be used to fuel drug or alcohol addictions, but what about when all that person really wants is a bed in a night shelter and they just need a few pounds. Sometimes it can feel intimidating to speak with a homeless person, especially if your female and they are male. All too often it’s far easier to just walk on past with a polite nod or no eye contact at all. Well that just doesn’t cut it somehow. I always feel so dissatisfied with myself when I just walk past and I don’t think I am alone. I wanted to speak to someone who had some experience of helping the homeless and vulnerable in their community so I met up with Esther, a third year Occupational Therapy student and member of Lansdowne Church. In her 1st and 2nd years of uni Esther was a volunteer with In Touch Christian Mission. They provide both practical and spiritual help to the homeless and those in need in Bournemouth. Continue reading
1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer with some sort of mental or emotional health issue every year according to Mind, the mental health charity. You might think to yourself, “well I don’t know of anyone” but that’s the thing, so many people suffer and stay silent. I’m not saying it’s necessary to shout it from the rooftops or talk about it all the time, after all, some aspects could be particularly upsetting; but without being a little more open about the things that trouble us we are only making the problem worse. That’s my experience anyway. Continue reading
The night scene of any town or city can get pretty disorientating when your senses are shot. Whether that be due to the cheap shots that were too hard to resist, the “little pick me up” your friend said would make the night fabulous or a combination of the two. The centre of Bournemouth is no different. About sixteen years ago a group of Christians decided they wanted to help the dazed, in danger and confused patrons of the Bournemouth nightlife. They set up the Nightclub Chaplaincy. Continue reading
The atrocities in Syria, like most major events, fade in and out of focus for many of us. We so often rely on what our favourite news organisations tell us the most important stories are. The most recent surfacing of Syrian news made me pause though. The other day I woke up to a Twitter feed full of starving Syrians.
Not just a place to live, for that’s just somewhere to put your possessions and to sleep at the end of the day, but a home. A home where unconditional love surrounds you. Where you are safe. Where you can thrive and grow. That is what most of us want, even if the desire is buried deep. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case all the time. Most of us are loved by someone, but human love isn’t perfect. At times it gets corrupted, or appears to have ceased altogether. The most heart breaking of these occasions is when it happens to children. A child’s home can shatter or never even be formed for a variety of reasons. From abuse and neglect to a parents illness rendering them unable to care for their child. Whatever the cause, between April 2014 and March 2015, 31,070 children and young people became “looked after” in England. A figure that has increased year on year for the last four years. Local authorities work hard for the best of each of the children in their care ( there are 69,540 across England) but what happens to those who can’t find the place where they fit? They move from foster (or residential) home to foster home, increasing their distrust and dislike for everyone involved in the process. Continue reading