The needs of Cardiff and the surrounding areas are many and diverse. Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly where to start and how to help. You will see from the information below that as a church we have found distinct ways that we can serve some of the ongoing needs.
New Life in Pentrebane
Here is the reproduced text of an article which appeared on the Ignite Hope website about our recent work in the Pentrebane area of Cardiff:
A group of teenagers and twenty-somethings from a church in Cyncoed returned to a neglected estate in Pentrebane for a second year running to work alongside the council and local community members to improve the area. Fairwater is named as a community first area by the Government – identifying it as an area where investment into services is most needed. New Life Church Cardiff usually meets in an affluent community and the two areas could not be more different despite only being 7 miles apart.
In 2010, young church members took part in a project which brightened shop fronts with paint and hosted a free community fun day. This May they decided to return to the same place and over a bank holiday weekend they cleared a derelict plot of land and achieved in two days what would normally take two weeks. Many of the local people recognised the team and the HOPE logo from the previous year.
The project was part of Ignite HOPE local which inspired hundreds of young people all over South Wales to invest in their local community life, demonstrate care and share their faith with others.
As a result of this work, their relationships with the council and a vision to invest in local community fully, the church is now looking to move their meeting location to Fairwater. As the group worked with the council and developed trust, they were then offered a derelict shop free of rent for eight months in which to base a community project.
Abi Williams, one of the team leaders, said: “We have really felt welcome as part of the community in Fairwater and, as a church, we are now exploring these possibilities. We feel that God has called us to invest in this area and we really want to share His love with people.
“Through the Ignite HOPE project we aimed to help our young people become more aware of the needs and issues of a community just down the road. It is great to see them develop in their desire to engage with our area and be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are becoming equipped for sharing hope through our normal life and to be on the lookout for opportunities to serve.”
New Life Church is the only local congregation with a significant number of young people but this did not stop the other local churches being involved. The Lutheran and Presbyterian churches in Fairwater provided buildings to host various aspects of the work and several members got stuck in by making the team’s lunches.
This was just one part of Ignite HOPE Local, a weekend full of evangelism and mission projects in communities around South Wales. Ten local areas benefited from volunteers of all ages, and many youth, getting involved in sharing hope with the place they live.
(Source - http://www.hopetogether.org.uk/Articles/262740/HOPE/Stories/Local_Stories/Youth_invest_in.aspx)
A number of the church are currently serving as Street Pastors, this involves walking the centre of Cardiff on Friday & Saturday nights and helping those ‘out on the town’, especially anyone suffering as a result of excessive drinking. These needs could include flip flops for girls’ feet, to avoid them treading on filthy streets or even used syringes. It can also mean providing water to help people sober up and importantly making sure people get home safely, in a taxi when needed. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate that the love of God motivates us to not judge people but just to want to do them good.
Tavistock Street House (TAV's for short) is the name of a drop-in centre for the homeless community of Cardiff, at which a team from New Life Church serve once a month on Monday nights. A very welcome addition to support services in Cardiff, this centre is made possible by volunteers from over 7 different churches.
The people who attend TAV’s are from various circumstances and are defined in the following: Rough Sleeper; Homeless; Vulnerably Housed. They are a community of people who easily become excluded from society, but whom we want to help.
The ethos of TAV's is to create a warm community like environment where people can have practical needs met, like a good hot meal, as well as feel able to talk about deeper issues or obtain advice about how to access a range of services available from Christian or statutory services.
The Beresford Pregnancy Counselling Centre was established in 1993 by members of New Life Church and consists of 5 members from the church, including the Director and the Regional Co-ordinator. There are also volunteers from other churches around Newport.
The Centre operates under the church’s charitable trust, and provides impartial, free and confidential counselling, information and support to women and their partners in all aspects of pregnancy. This work includes help in crisis pregnancy, pre- and post-termination, adoption, miscarriage, stillbirth, traumatic birth, and post-natal depression. Clients come from all over South East Wales, and we receive referrals from medical and caring professionals from throughout the region. The Centre opens on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm, and Monday evenings between 7.00 and 9.00. In 2009 clients contacted us 1,275 times via visits, phone calls and emails. Centre staff also visit schools to make inputs within the PHSE curriculum, regarding unexpected pregnancy, sex and relationships.
The Beresford Centre is one of a network of 160 pregnancy crisis centres affiliated to Care Confidential. For more information about the work please see www.careconfidential.com or ring the national helpline on 0800 028 2228.
The Centre is located in Gaer Park Drive, Newport NP20 3NN. You can contact us to make an appointment or just to talk on 01633 212320, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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