One way Genesis Trust meets the immediate needs of people in crisis is through Lifeline at the Gateway Centre on London Road.  Lifeline is a day centre providing crisis support for people who are homeless, vulnerably housed or experiencing complex challenges such as financial insecurity, mental health issues and substance misuse.  We can provide food, clothing, small household items, access to a shower and laundry facilities, IT support and much more.

Paul Solly, Lifeline Manager, says that Lifeline has developed a new culture since Covid began.  It is now open all day, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday which has led to a more relaxed environment and, as a result, a wonderfully supportive culture has been developing with much peer support going on as well as the Lifeline team providing support work.

Paul says, “Lifeline has become a place where everyone is seeking to support each other in this thing we call ‘life’ and it is quite inspirational.”

Recently a guest was nervous about a Department of Work & Pensions medical assessment and it was another guest who was able to walk him through the process and put him at ease.  Another instance was when a canal boater explained the process of getting a license from the Canal and River Trust to another.  These may seem like normal things to you and I, but they are extremely helpful to people who are often isolated and have difficulties completing simple administrative tasks.

As the Lifeline team meets people’s immediate needs and, over time, builds a relationship of trust, this allows guests to Lifeline to easily join an activity at Life Skills or, if appropriate, the Life Course.   This sort of interlinked work gives the Genesis staff and volunteers the flexibility to personalise the support given to meet the specific needs of each guest.  It creates a culture where everyone is valued.

Another exciting aspect of the new style of Lifeline, since Covid, is our ability to work with people in a sustained manner through booked, one to one meetings.  It is very useful to be able to meet more frequently with people with a combination of booked and ad hoc meetings every week.  The longer operating times of Lifeline allows more frequent meetings depending on what each person’s needs are.

This one-to-one time we spend with individuals has particularly impacted those who are housed but are struggling and facing uncertain times ahead especially with the present cost of living increases.

Paul said, “Just recently someone was telling me how he has stopped cooking and paying his council tax bill as he cannot make ends meet and feels like he would rather not be alive.  This week someone who is employed but on a low income came in for the first time asking if we could help with bills and food.”

We are also seeing people who are still sleeping on the streets.  It is so tragic to see people who are very desperate and feel life is hopeless.  That is the beauty of what is happening at Lifeline; a compassionate community that supports people from despair to hope.  Meeting people’s immediate needs as well as walking alongside them on their life journey is providing the necessary hope people need to continue.

Lifeline has some immediate donation needs:

As said above, we meet the immediate needs of people in crisis.  Presently, the list below is what Lifeline needs most.

  • Men’s Boxers
  • Men’s Jeans
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags and tents
  • Mugs & cutlery

If you could donate any of these items, we would be very grateful.  Please call 01225 439385 to make an appointment to drop off any donations.

To see a full list of needed donations, please click HERE.  Thank you very much for your support.