Tag: Activities

Mystery Mission Trip Lands at the FNC

For three days in July the FNC became home for 20 young people and leaders from Knowle Parish Church. They eat, worshipped, and even slept at the FNC which they even found to be quite comfortable! However this wasn’t just a luxury city break they were here as part of their church’s annual mission trip for young people. So whilst they were with us they went litter picking with the Balsall Heath Forum, helped out at the Sultan Bahu Trust, Got involved with The Feast, did gardening at The Springfield Centre and helped at the Narthex Food Bank.

As well as all this activity they visited shops on the Stratford Road, had a tour of the Hamza Masjid and were there for Iftar and had a delicious meal at Hajees Restaurant.

Although Sparkhill is only 15 minutes away from Knowle, it’s a different world, one which many of the young people had never visited. However, they got stuck into the work and were enthusiastic and hardworking volunteers.


Welcoming the Stranger – Birmingham Churches Winter Night Shelter 2013

January 19th 2013 saw churches open their doors to homeless people and offer a bed to those who need it. Building on last year’s pilot, this year 6 hosts churches; 4 Church of England churches and 2 Baptist churches, offered shelter and hospitality for 6 weeks in January and February. The project was a collaboration of so many churches, projects and individuals. It included over 300 volunteers from a range of churches and traditions staffing the shelter; providing food, sleeping overnight and generally making guests feel at home. Guests were referred to the shelter by SIFA Fireside and also by outreach teams from Reach Out Network and Grace Bible Fellowship, who, as well as referring rough sleepers into the shelter, also met them at the pickup point and chaperoned them to the venues helping them to settle in. Transport was provided by church projects and Shencare Community Transport along with volunteer drivers for each night, and at each venue there was a volunteer coordinator who managed the shift and food rotas. To date the project has provided shelter to 31 guests, and offered a warm place to sleep during what has been, at times, a bitterly cold couple of months. Wonderfully, during their time with us, some of our guests have been able to find work and accommodation, and we have also been able to work with Midland Heart Homeless Services team to help guests access any support available to them. One of our guests who had been homeless for 4 years, with the support from an experienced volunteer, was helped to make a successful homeless application which resulted in him being given accommodation. Thank you to all those who have given their time, resources, prayer, money and support to make this project such a great success in providing shelter, hospitality, friendship and support to those who have used the shelter this winter. It has been such a blessing to many guests and volunteers alike. However in terms of tackling homelessness it is only really scratching the surface in helping to address the issues that are faced by those sleeping rough. There is a strong desire from The Birmingham Christian Homeless Forum, Housing Justice and Thrive Together Birmingham to engage and help to mobilise churches and Christians who are passionate and committed to supporting homeless people. We are trying to do this by developing this and other projects, and to work with other voluntary and statutory organisations to be part of addressing the needs of homeless people face. For more information about how you can support this and other homeless projects please contact e.neill@HousingJustice.org.uk or info@thrivetogetherbham.org

Eid Kabaddi

Near Neighbours Eid Kabaddi event – Monday 27th August, 2012.

Matt Kendall of Aston Near Neighbours writes: Aston Cricket Club were keen to run a kabaddi event at the wonderful Aston Park Pavilion, and we decided to work with them to try to make the event more inclusive for the community and expand cross cultural understanding. The work also was a chance to open up the pavilion to the community as it has been empty and locked for much of its existence since being opened in 2009.
The event had two parts. One was an invitation only cross cultural discussion and explanation of the rules of Kabaddi and the celebration of Eid, and the second part was to enjoy the Kabaddi event.
As well as the general common issues around faith and celebration as a community, what really came from the cross cultural discussions was that the real drivers for a lot of the leaders who are active within their faith groups are to develop and support their community. We were fortunate to have a number of people attending who were senior figures within their various faith communities and all stated that they were strongly motivated by the community development work they are doing.
We still have still some more work to do to build relationships in the area, and we still have 2 more Near Neighbours events left to run – watch this space.

Sunrise in Sparkhill 3

As people arrived at the park they couldn’t fail to notice an impressive new mural that had been painted on the back wall of the old Sparkhill Swimming Pool. The picture was the work of local artist Mohammed Ali from Soul City Arts. The mural was designed to reflect the Olympics, faith and the swimming pool.

Mohammed worked with young people from The Feast in planning and painting the mural and incorporated their thoughts and skills into the final picture. The work was able to go ahead through a Near Neighbours grant and is a great example of the impact those small gants can make amongst people and for an area.

The work on the mural took place in the days and weeks leading up to the 1st July and, despite torrential rain and thunderstorms, was finished just in time for everyone at Sunrise in Sparkhill to see it.

Much has been talked about the legacy of the Olympics and Sunrise in Sparkhill will certainly leave a legacy in Birmingham. This beautiful mural will be around for many years for people in the area to enjoy. Not only that but many friendships were made through the running of the event and will also be a legacy from this exciting and innovative event.

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