Poverty and Recovery
Poverty is not just to do with a shortage of money but is also about a lack of other sorts of things we need to live a fulfilled life such as friends, time away etc. For human beings to thrive, we need safety and a basic level of human prosperity (1 Kings 4 v 25, The Bible).
The rest of this page mostly focuses on alleviating the impacts of financial difficulty. Poverty has many causes and they impact people in painful ways. They prompt different kinds of responses from Christian believers who are trying to follow the examples and instructions of Jesus. These are ones we are particularly either partnering with or signposting, but many others exist which do excellent work locally. If you want to find others, please do ask.
Phone: 01274 760720
CAP is passionate about releasing people from a life sentence of poverty, debt, unemployment and addiction. Working with the church they bring good news, hope and freedom to people in the UK. Need their help? Want to volunteer?
Locally we run:
- CAP Debt Help – we give free help to anyone in debt. Thousands of people have already been given hope and a solution. The CAP Debt Centre Erith & Thamesmead is based in South Thamesmead at Emmanuel Baptist Church, and serves people in a 5 mile radius from there, reaching into both Bexley south to the A2 and into Greenwich. You don’t have to get to the centre, a Debt Coach will visit you in your own home. See www.capuk.org.
- CAP Money Course – this is a 3 session course, run daytimes or evenings by local CAP Money Coaches, to help with learning better budgetting skills, and is run at various times around Bexley. For upcoming courses, visit www.capuk.org.
- CAP Job Club – this is a friendly place where you will get practical help as you seek employment. It’s a relaxed environment with the chance to meet other jobseekers, get support and gain the tools you need to find work. The Bexley CAP Job Club is based at Belvedere Baptist Church in Nuxley Road. See www.capuk.org.
The BCU Life Skills Centre based at Trinity Baptist Church, Broadway, Bexleyheath provides a safe welcome to those at a crossroads in their life. By offering a drop-in centre with hot and cold refreshments, life skills courses, one to one counselling and group work for women with children, it gives people a good experience of community. Clients then use the life skills they have acquired to participate more profitably in society at large.
The charity’s main purpose is to provide services free of charge to those experiencing disadvantage and those who are finding life difficult and who are in need of support. It has a person-centred approach and welcomes all members of the community no matter what their circumstances.
BCU Life Skills is open Thursdays and Fridays 9am-1pm.
Phone: 07434 733507
Is there something in your life that you just can’t stop doing even though you want to? maybe it’s smoking, binge drinking, gambling or an internet addiction. Maybe it’s something more hardline. Do you feel like it’s just too hard to tackle on your own?
If you would like help to break free, then contact Cornerstone Recovery as your starting point. Cornerstone is full of people who have been there, many of them have been through AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) programmes, or are in recovery from other addictions.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (AA)
Are you ready for your life to change?
Is Alcohol the cause not the solution anymore?
NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS (NA)
Are you ready for your life to change, but is it drugs that are the cause and you cannot kick the habit on your own?
Phone: 020 7403 0888
Are you a family member of someone with an addiction and you just need to talk to other people in the same boat? Family groups provide understanding, strength and hope to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. Alateen (020 7593 2070) is for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics, and is part of Al-Anon.
HAVE YOU BEEN BITTEN BY A LOAN SHARK?
Easy credit has turned Britain into a nation of debtors and we are currently £158 billion in the red. According to the BBC, nine million of us have serious financial problems due to personal borrowing, resulting in vulnerable members of the community turning to controversial loan sharks to make ends meet.
If you are affected in any way by this, or you want to help or just find out more, visit www.rochester.anglican.org/mission/stop-loan-sharks, where you can also report a loan shark.
If you are looking for a loan from a responsible credit provider, or would like to consider saving with such an organisation so that others can borrow at very low rates of interest, then Kent Savers Credit Union is one of those providers (www.kentsavers.co.uk / 0333 321 9050 / email@example.com).
Emma initially borrowed £500 and ended up paying back a staggering £128,000 to a ruthless loan shark. She lost her home and was pushed to the brink of suicide.
Take a look at https://vimeo.com/199562620 for a short summary of this whole area of life.
HELPING LOCAL PEOPLE IN CRISIS
Most people in the UK have now heard about Foodbanks. Bexley Foodbank is run in association with the Trussell Trust and has four outlets – Avery Hill Christian Fellowship in Sidcup, Sidcup New Community Church, Trinity Baptist Church in Bexleyheath and Queen Street Baptist Church in Erith. The opening times are all on the Bexley Foodbank website above, and information about how to find a voucher distributor if you need to use the service. You can be provided with a parcel of three days of emergency food, plus support to find your way out of the crisis situation. Churches are working together across the Borough to run the Foodbank, and if you or your church want to contribute to that, information on how to do that is also on the website, together with the current items needed.
BEXLEY WINTER NIGHT SHELTER
Homelessness Sunday, 22nd January 2017, saw the first night of the Bexley Winter Night Shelter, providing a bed for the night, supper and breakfast for to up to 12 men every night until the end of March. Most of the London Boroughs are now able to provide such a shelter run by the churches across each Borough, with expertise and training provided by Housing Justice (www.housingjustice.org.uk).
The long term aim is to provide a shelter for the whole of the winter (3-4 months), and maybe for women as well. For 2017 there were 3 venues per week, one night at Sidcup New Community Church, one in the Roberts BB Hall in Bexleyheath and five at the Salvation Army in Welling. For winter 2017-18 the pattern may be different. As of the end of January 2017 there had been 14 men assessed, 9 had accessed the shelter so far with up to 7 on any one night and 1 housed. These figures have increased and can be updated at the end of the 2017 project. Approximately 35 churches have been involved and 130+ volunteers joined the teams. Any enquiries concerning the night shelter should be directed to the project co-ordinator Melvyn French at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about joining the team, see Home Sweet home – but not if you are out on the streets
The 2017 team application form is at Winter Night Shelter Volunteer Application Form
To refer someone to the night shelter, use this flyer: A Bed For The Night
Christian Counselling Services
Counselling can take many forms from eating disorders to stress, from bereavement to anger. Counselling does not show a weakness in character as many people think but with the increasing stresses and strains of modern day life, for many it is vital. Although called Christian counselling, you do not have to be a Christian to attend any counselling sessions.
Oasis Counselling Centre
Did you know that 1 in 3 people in this country are suffering from depression at any one time? Symptoms such as constant fatigue, the feeling of not wanting to deal with everyday life, etc. Depression is a very real problem that we at Oasis can help you through.
We also offer counselling on a variety of general everyday life topics such as addiction, low self-esteem etc. You can contact us by either e-mailing us on email@example.com or go to our contact page.
Visit our website at www.oasisdartford.org.uk
CRUSE BEREAVEMENT CARE
freephone: 0808 808 1677
Has someone died? Cruse can help with support, counselling, education, advice and information. Counsellors are available by phone or email.
Grief is a natural process, but it can be devastating. For those who need help, Cruse offers free confidential support for adults and children, and this can be by telephone, email or face-to-face. The nearest centres for Bexley are at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup and Westmount Road, Eltham.
Phone: 020 8301 1010 Bexleyheath Branch / helpline 116 123 to speak to someone 24 hours a day x 365
The Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline. Although Samaritans is a secular organisation, the name is derived from the Biblical Parable of the Good Samaritan.
helpline: 020 8301 1536
Bexley Women’s Aid provides support and refuge to women and children experiencing domestic abuse. You are not alone. We can help. The helpline is available 9.30am – 3.00pm Monday to Friday.
Domestic abuse will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime. It is the largest cause of death worldwide in women aged 19-44, greater than war, cancer or car accidents, and accounts for 16% of all violent crime.
Domestic abuse takes many forms. It can be physical, mental, emotional, financial or sexual. It does not discriminate, it occurs in all walks of life regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, income, social status or geography. Those affected often feel along and isolated and live in fear for their safety and often their lives. Abusers choose to behave violently to get what they want and gain control.
If you are suffering or know someone who is, call the helpline for support and information on how to get your life back.
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
Men are abused too. Most domestic violence is directed at women but men are abused too. Seeking help as an abused man can be hard. You may feel there’s nowhere to turn or that no-one will take you seriously. You are not alone. For support call the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 or visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk.
REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS (JIM TO WRITE)
DRUG AND ALCOHOL SERVICES IN BEXLEY (INVESTIGATE)
DRUGS AND CRIME
For more information please click here
These pages have been sponsored by the Metropolitan Police for the use of the people of Bexley. They cover how to recognise if you or someone else are becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs, what the terminology means, what to do about it, and suggestions for other activities that can take the place of addiction itself.