Newsletter - Summer 2016
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Love Southampton is an initiative of the churches in Southampton that springs from the very heart of who we are - a diverse community of people united in our love for God and our love for our neighbour.
Love Southampton draws together people and projects who are working for the common good of the neighbourhoods and communities in the city. Rather than being a registered charity or organisation delivering initiatives and projects itself, Love Southampton is a network that initiates, co-ordinates and mobilises resources to help local projects work in collaboration. The three supporting church networks are Churches Together, Southampton Christian Network (SCN) and the Southampton Pastors’ Network.
A word from Rt Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Southampton
It was Martin Luther King who said "Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve." Whether our service of and for the City is mediated through a voluntary organisation, the churches, faith communities or in another sphere of civic life, it seems to me that the challenge of our day is to learn to work together for the Common Good rather than to continue in our separate silos. The challenge to create a flourishing city is one that can only be responded to together and wherever possible, in creative partnerships for the good of everyone. It's for this reason I value the vision of Love Southampton: for many years the churches of Southampton have worked well together in serving the city we love so much. Love Southampton builds on this good history of trust and working together to create a space for partnership for each other, with the City Council and all for the Common Good. I commend the work of Love Southampton wherever I go.
It is great to be able to share that the Safe Families for Children project will be operating in Southampton from this October. Safe Families is a Christian charity working in partnership with the Local Authority’s Children’s Services to link families in need with local volunteers who can offer them help and support. It aims to reduce the number of children who need to be ‘looked after’ in care, and it does this through a large team of trained volunteers from local churches. Safe Families is not fostering or adoption by another name, but it is a way of supporting parents who need help to restore stability in their lives, helping them get back on their feet. Safe Families works with local authorities to reduce the flow of children being ‘looked after’ and taken into care. Safe Families has a proven track record of success. Having started in the North East of England in 2013, the programme has been rolled out into four regions: East Midlands, Greater Manchester, Mersey Region and West Midlands working with 20 local authorities, and now expanding into the South Coast .
When a crisis strikes a family with children, its effects can be devastating. Many of us would turn to relatives and friends for support. However, some families can be really isolated with nobody there to help them. Safe Families provides support for these families whilst their issues are being resolved and, if needed, often providing a short stay for their children with a trustworthy family. Research shows that local churches are becoming increasingly well equipped to help families in their community – on a family-to-family basis. Safe Families often describes this as ‘a community based solution to a community based problem’.
Safe Families has a strong relationship with churches in local communities, where most of its volunteers are found. Safe Families provides Family Friends, Host Families and Resource Friends to help while parents seek to restore stability in their lives. Chris Allcock will be leading the programme here in the Solent. Recruitment activities for the core team have begun, and vacancies (i.e. Family Support Manager, Referrals Co-ordinator, Community Volunteer Manager) will be posted on the Safe Families website:
In addition to the core team, Safe Families needs to recruit and train approximately 100 volunteers in a variety of roles: Host Homes, Family Friends and Resource Friends by 30 September 2016. Information events are planned on the following dates for those interested in being volunteers. Please do let Chris know if you would like to attend:
14 June @ Highfield Church, Southampton, 7.30 - 9.00pm
7 July @ St Thomas’ Church, Fair Oak, 7.30 - 9.00pm
12 July @ Above Bar Church, Southampton, 8.00 - 9.30pm