You may have read our earlier news article (posted below if you need to catch up!) about the work of Soul's Kitchen, the Bethany City Church and the formation of Soul Sailors. Well, we're happy to report that Fiona has been back in touch with us at the Alpkit Foundation to tell us about the trip they took last month, takinga group of homeless, or people who had experienced homelessness, and vulnerable adults away on a 7 day sailing expedition with the Morning Star Trust.
"The award has allowed the group from the Soul Kitchen at Bethany City Church take part in an amazing outdoor challenge together as a team. All members have benefited from this experience whether that be from the perspective of taking them out of their usual comfort zone to helping someone overcome fear of the water. The weather was a challenge throughout the week so all members of the team did exceptionally well to complete the trip!
Good conversations were had on board during the week including what some were going to do to start sorting out their housing situation back home, along with wanting to go after further education and work opportunities. We will be supporting the team members going forward who wish to explore these different avenues."
It's fantastic to hear that we've helped to make a trip like this possible, and even better to know that the positive impact it's had could truly be long lasting after the team are all looking towards brighter futures, further emphasizing just how important the work that Fiona, Souls Kitchen and the Bethany City Church really is. Fiona went on to tell us...
All feedback received from each of the crew to date has been exceptional and I believe that the impact will be long lasting as you could see from their faces and comments on, and after the trip, that the team had really been impacted by the whole experience.
The comment ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity was declared a few times! We are encouraging them to dream big and that this doesn’t have to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but that they could continue adventuring going forwards if they set their mind to it! I am looking forward to seeing how the team take these experiences and develop them into long-term positive goals for themselves.
We truly admire the work Fiona and the team are doing and look forward to hearing about other projects they carry out in the future.
(Original news article: 21st May 2019)
There's a great feeling you get when you're sailing out on open water. The wind in your hair, sun on the horizon andthe rolling swell making you feel like you’re heading out on a Viking voyage to explore new worlds.
Well, a few folks atSoul Kitchen, Sunderland have realised this and plan to set sail in an attempt to raise awareness for helping the homeless.
Soul Kitchen is a lunch club run by theBethany City Church and provides lunch-time food for the homeless, anyone who is struggling to put food on the table or even anyone who feels lonely and in need of company.
Bethany City Church carry out some amazing work, as well as Soul Kitchen, they also run a food bank to provide emergency food for those in need and various workshops throughout the week to help provide knowledge and skills to those that might need a fresh start.
It was at SoulKitchen, after the funeral of a friend that 10 people came together to form Soul Sailors, which is when Fiona got in touch with us at the Alpkit Foundation. Fiona told us about their project and why they're taking on their sailing adventure:
"Soul Sailors is a group of ten who met through a local lunch club which provides food to people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness as well as support anyone who is lonely. In August this group is going on a sailing adventure and they are hoping to raise funds and awareness for a friend they lost last year. No one in team has been sailing before and it will definitely be out of all their comfort zones!" "Last summera friend of the lunch passed away and received a 'paupers funeral' which was undignified and caused hurt to those who knew Peter. As a result we have set up 'Peter's Story' a fund that will help raise money to assist people in similar situations to experience adventure and experiences that would definitely be out of their reach normally. We want to raise the profile of 'paupers funerals' and raise aspirations within our local homelessness community here in Sunderland. Adventure inspires people and encourages them to develop themselves as well as give encouragement that they are able to achieve more than they ever imagined." - Fiona Forster
Wefeel incredibly privaledged to be able to help Fiona and the Soul Sailors project.