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We Won!! 

“Well, who would have believed it? - We actually won the Hopkins Homes Suffolk Vote! That’s an amazing £7000 for Resource Centre refurbishment project!  Thank you for taking the time to vote for us, it means a lot.  We really didn’t expect to win, but even if we hadn’t, we’ve had such fun with the social media campaign, and so to win was a massive bonus!
Thank you also to Josh Hopkins from Hopkins Homes and Andrea Pittock from the Suffolk Community Foundation who came across to the Resource Centre to make the presentations to us and the runners up - Ipswich Housing Action Group and Halesworth Volunteer Centre.  Any one of the 7 charities could have won it as all are doing amazing work across the county, so thank you very much for your continued support - we really do appreciate it!” 

Hopkins Cheque small

Henry Wilson, 23/03/2018

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Reaching out into the Community - One Year On 

Tina and Jo smallAs early as 2014 at Reach we were aware of barriers to our services, especially anyone living in the villages.  From time to time we would receive a call from a Doctor’s surgery or a family support worker in Clare or Linton asking if we might be able to help a patient or a family they were assisting.  Our resources at the time dictated that our work was centred on Haverhill, not exclusively, but if you needed help and from a village, it generally meant coming in to see us at the Resource Centre on the Clements Estate in Haverhill.
By 2015 we began to dream of satellite centres in partnership with a local church in that community.  Following the launch of ‘The Hidden Needs Report’ by Suffolk Community Foundation in September 2016, highlighting the growth in rural poverty in Suffolk it was time to act.  With some initial funding from the ONE Haverhill Partnership we launched our Reach into the Community project in January 2017, essentially carrying out home visits.
The project has grown and although not running satellite centres yet, we appointed Jo Goodhall for the Haverhill and Stour Valley area and Tina Rice for the South Cambs corridor (see Tina’s piece below).
Well, one year on we now have updated our statistics for the year and these make interesting reading!

  • Throughout 2016 we fed 43 people from rural areas around Haverhill from the foodbank.  In 2017 we fed 145 people in the rural areas!
  • In 2016 rural areas amounted to just 4% of the people helped by Haverhill foodbank, it now stands at 10%
  • More than £1500 of client aid has been distributed through Acts 435 as well many other services including debts, form completion and general support 

Naturally we are delighted with the impact that Reach into the Community is having in the rural areas, we do have a great team and that includes the volunteers that accompany Jo & Tina on their home visits.  If you too would like to accompany Jo or Tina on any of their home visits, please do get in touch with the office on 01440 712950 or  Thank you.

Henry Wilson, 01/03/2018

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A Message from Henryhenry circle

Last week I came across a couple of pieces of paper on which I had written ‘Christmas 2017’.  I remembered that it was what I said I would like to see by the 2017 Christmas party.  As I read the notes, I was greatly encouraged to read that what I had written had pretty much happened!  For example; satellite centres in villages such as Linton and Clare, and although we don’t exactly have ‘satellite centres’ as such, we do have two great ladies working out in the community bringing hope and all the Reach resources via home visits to the rural areas.  Tina covers the villages from Haverhill into South Cambs, eg. Linton and Abington and Jo covers Haverhill and the surrounding villages eg. Wickhambrook and Clare etc [1].
From 1st April to 30th November we have seen a doubling of our foodbank use in the rural communities compared to the same period last year![2]  Whilst other support services in the villages have been cut, those that remain like schools and midwives have welcomed us, especially in South Cambs where Tina is receiving requests for help almost on a daily basis!
Meanwhile Jo (see below), who has only been with us since September is busy building links and supporting those struggling with poverty related issues; people like ‘Terry’ who was formerly homeless but now can rest in the knowledge of having a roof over his head this winter.
It really is an amazing privilege to work with such a great team in serving the local community, we really couldn’t do it without you.  A big thank you for all your support throughout 2017; we do have ambitious plans for 2018, but more of that next month. For now may I wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.

[1] Reach into the community
[2] Of the 968 people fed through the foodbank, 97 are from rural communities compared to last year where 784 people were fed and just 37 were from rural communities

Henry Wilson, 14/12/2017

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A Message from Jo 

Dear Friends,

Jo circle


I was reminded this week of that old seasonal story, A Christmas Carol.  Maybe you too have been catching up on Christmas films or songs and have been enjoying watching re-runs of the classics? Well, it got me thinking about the work that is done here at Reach and the help we offer; quite often when we meet clients for the first time we are asking them to look back in time to see what has gone on in their past and we record what has gone on before that day.  Then we take a look at their current circumstances and see what is happening in their life at that present time and see where they are financially, socially and emotionally.  Then with those things in hand, we aim to look to their future to see where we can help.

Now I am not for one minute comparing any of us to the characters of Scrooge or Marley!! But for me as a Christian, I take hold of the thought that God takes me from the past, sees where I am in my current state and offers me the gift of light and hope for the future.  We could all do well to look back, look in and then look ahead.  What has brought us to where we are today and how are we going to move forward?

Well the good news is that the God I serve is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever - and I find that amazing!  The ever faithful and ever-loving God will always guide us, will forever love us and will never leave us.  So here within the work of Reach we can also take those thoughts on board and apply them to us as a charity.  This year God has brought us from being four staff to now being seven, we have expanded the areas in which we now work and our community work is reaching vulnerable in villages in Suffolk, Essex & South Cambs.  Also our volunteers’ base has grown, which is fantastic, as we actually couldn’t do the work we do without them.  God, who is ever faithful, has brought the whole idea of Reach into fruition, is our constant source of daily help, and gives us fresh vision for all that He would have us do in the future.

So, as this year comes to a close, may we take the opportunity to thank you for all your support for Reach – we really couldn’t do all that we do without the prayer support we receive from so many – and we will continue to serve our communities in the best way that we can….

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  Proverbs 31:8-9
A very Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!
From all at Reach Community Projects.
….We’ll praise Him for all that is past and trust Him for all that’s to come…. (Traditional Hymn)

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