“Life Skills was a tremendous part of my recovery from past trauma. I was able to attend courses like Art and Nature Therapy and Grow for Life at the beautiful walled garden in Newton St Loe which has reignited my interest in gardening and painting. Plus, I have made many good friends from these courses which has given me much more confidence.”

Lorraine (former client, now Life Skills staff member)

Next year will mark Life Skills’ 20th anniversary. Through this project Genesis Trust offers people access to a range of health and well-being activities that are practical, creative and therapeutic.

Some of the courses offered through Life Skills are art and music therapy, creative writing, gardening, cooking, faith group and many more. These courses facilitate social participation for our clients, many of whom are often isolated. They learn new skills and grow in confidence which then leads to increased individual well-being.

Paul Solly, Lifeline Manager, has worked for Genesis Trust since 2001. Back in 2003 Genesis Trust was offering Lifeline, crisis support. Paul and others began to see the need for something more to better support our client’s general well-being.

He said, “From our experience at Lifeline we realised more was needed than just rehousing. Life Skills was our first approach to addressing people’s wellbeing which has now been taken on to another level.”

Life Skills has indeed continued to grow, moving all around the city, starting at Life Church Bath (formally Bath City Church) to the Salvation Army, then at St John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church and finally arriving at a permanent home at our Gateway Centre.

Denise Weikert was hired by Genesis Trust in 2004 to pioneer this new project. After 19 years of faithful service at Genesis Trust and in our community, Denise has recently retired.  She leaves a long legacy of compassionate support for vulnerable people in our city.

Initially working within Lifeline, Denise provided one-off activities and encouraging client’s creativity. Once Life Skills had its own space, Denise was able to establish a regular timetable of activities.

Paul said, “Denise’s great strength was encouraging visitor participation, recruiting volunteers and liaising with other agencies to provide tutors.”

Upon her retirement Denise said, “I have been thrilled to be a part of this incredible journey of this wonderful project and am delighted to see it growing and flourishing with the team at the Gateway Centre.”

From all of us at Genesis Trust, we want to thank Denise for her incredible hard work and faithfulness to those in our community. Over the years Life Skills has become a well-established and fruitful project in Bath supporting vulnerable people, giving people hope, new confidence and healing from past trauma. Denise’s role in this has been fundamental and we are so very grateful for all she has given.