Christmas Appeal

Can you help Give Hope this Christmas?

The saddest thing is when people have lost hope. You can see in their eyes that it’s missing.

 Hi, I’m Sue Fourie and I manage the programmes we deliver at Genesis Trust’s Gateway Centre off London Road.

As I sit here today, looking toward Christmas with you, I never would have expected the abundance of hope we’ve experienced throughout this unusual year. COVID has required us to change many of our working practices including the need for one-to-one appointment times for visitors to the Gateway Centre. These have gifted us the opportunity to really get to know people, find the root of their issues and provide hope for the future.

We have seen many challenges facing our clients in these socially distanced times, mainly the depletion of safe communal spaces in which to find community to belong to. Through our one-to-one appointments we have been able to point clients to appropriate activities and courses we offer, where clients can meet safely together, share experiences and learn new skills.

Sally’s story is all too familiar to us. I met her at a hostel last year. She was alone, anxious and two months into recovery from addiction. She had endured years of emotional and physical abuse, first from her mother and later from her husband. Many years had been spent moving between hostels, friends’ sofas and the streets of Bath. I knew she would benefit from the Life Course but she was hesitant and afraid.

I could see Sally had some fight left in her and three weeks later she began the Life Course. The group provided a safe place for her to start interacting with people again and find mutual support. Sally learnt how to change her thinking patterns which impacted her behaviour and gave her confidence and control. Even through a relapse, it was the group which gave her hope to return. She had found a new community.

With community comes hope. This year we have seen a greater synergy between the three key areas of support we offer vulnerable people like Sally. Lifeline, Life Skills and the Life Course have collectively become Genesis Life Projects, which have a long-term, holistic approach, creating a network of support for clients.

A year on, Sally has moved into her own home, just down the road from her daughter whom she has reconnected with.

‘I always thought there was no hope, now I open the kitchen door of my new home and I’m in heaven.’  

                                                                                              Sally, Life Course participant

There are many people like Sally in our community who need Genesis Life Projects to set them on their own path towards a better future. Demand for our service is currently very high, with many people finding themselves newly homeless or in crisis.  There is no doubt that the pandemic has caused demand for our services to increase and we anticipate this will continue through the winter months. These people who have just been holding on, are who we need to serve.

Thanks to our loyal and generous supporters, Genesis Life Projects has enabled people like Sally to find self-worth, community and hope. When people feel lost, anxious or are trying to escape pain, it’s important to remember that love is at the heart of their future. We help people to learn to accept and love themselves and from there they can look towards the future with hope.

Can you help Genesis Life Projects share hope this Christmas by making a donation? You can enable vulnerable people in our city to journey towards a brighter future.

Thank you.

Sue Fourie

Our Life Projects at the Gateway Centre:

Lifeline – meeting the needs of people in crisis. We offer food, showers and clothes-washing facilities as well as advice and support with common issues such as money, housing and addiction.

Life Skills – encouraging group interactions through creative, therapeutic and practical activities.

The Life Course – a structured series about how to improve your life skills, mental health, relational skills and how to get more organised.

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