Here are the charities we are supporting during 2017 with an outline of their aims and objectives.

 

* = this charity has not previously been supported.

Military Ministries International – January
The MMI serves Christians and Chaplains in the Military worldwide.   They operate at local, national and international level in Africa, Europe, South Asia and the Middle East.   MMI builds, supports and maintains individual relationships with Christians through correspondence, communication and by regular visits to Christians who would often struggle alone.   They also offer conferences, seminars, retreats and training events.

The Children’s Society – February
A voluntary society of the Church of England and Wales, it operates around 80 projects nationwide.  These include work with runaways at risk on the streets, disabled children, young carers, young travellers, young people in poverty, refugees and asylum seeking children, young people in legal trouble and children in care.    It sets up family centres in areas of special need, and runs projects for young people involved in drug taking and those unable to find work.    Lyn Appleby is in touch with a representative of the Society, who hopes to come and do a presentation at the Creative Service in February.

St George Foundation – March (Mothering Sunday)
This Christian organisation based in Freetown, Sierra Leone, began as a project to help children living on the streets.   Starting in a small way providing lunch, activities and  counselling, the Foundation now has its own house, providing food, shelter and clothing for vulnerable children, helping them back into school and setting up training centres  to enable them to earn a living.    It also works to reunite children with their wider families.   However, during the Ebola epidemic it found itself almost overwhelmed by the number of children orphaned by the disease, taking in as many children as it has done in the whole of the past eleven years. Five hundred children were given sanctuary at the Foundation, and another three hundred were found foster care.   Its founder and supporters are based at St Barnabas Church, Swanmore, and St John’s Locks Heath.

Mercy Ships UK – April (Easter)
Mercy Ships UK is a Christian charity,  operating since 1978 a series of hospital ships to bring health services to developing nations.   It provides free surgery and medical care, and joins with local communities to improve health care, offering training and advice, materials and hands-on assistance.   Each ship is crewed by volunteer doctors, nurses, water engineers and agriculturalists.   They provide help for people with deformities, including cleft lip/palate, and visual impairments including cataract surgery, also obstetrics, fistulas and pregnancy-related problems.  Welfare  programmes are also provided, including sanitation, skills training, and advice on agriculture.

*PLANETS – May
PLANETS is part of Southampton Hospital Charity, set up to fundraise for pancreatic, liver and neuroendocrine cancers.  Its present aim is to fund a revolutionary form of radiotherapy called the Mobetron, the first portable system able to give targeted radiation given at the time of surgery to treat advanced cancers that are difficult to remove and treat.    Radiation is given by high energy electron beams delivered with precision to a very specific location inside the body immediately after a cancer has been removed.   Southampton has become the first hospital in the UK to use this device, funded by the charity, and now needs further funds to pay for running costs.

*MIND – June (Pentecost)
MIND provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.  It campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of these conditions.   Because of MIND, millions more people have access to advice and support, thanks to its information and services nationally and locally in England and Wales.   Local MINDs support over 375,000 people; its services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and  training schemes, counselling and befriending.   One in four Britons experiences mental health problems every year.

Mission to Seafarers – July  (Sea Sunday)
This voluntary society within the Anglican Church is concerned with the well-being of seafarers of all races and creeds in more than 60 countries around the world.   Its chaplains, lay staff and volunteers provide welcome and friendship in over 260 ports, and give help and support to the 1.5 million men and women who can face danger such as piracy, shipwreck and abandonment.   it helps seafarers in need, encourages them in their faith, and visits them if they are left in hospital when their ship sails.   It provides links with parish clergy to extend support to families, and offers help and advice in cases of injustice or hardship.    It is entirely funded by voluntary donations.

Relate – August
Relate is a charity providing relationship support throughout the United Kingdom.

Relationship problems cause a lot of distress in families.  As the UK’s largest provider of such support, Relate has a unique ability to help individuals, couples and families experiencing such difficulties.   Every year its wide-ranging and non-judgemental counselling services aid over a million people of all ages and backgrounds to strengthen their relationships.

*Sense – September
Sense is a national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind or have sensory impairments.   It has been supporting these people for the last 60 years.    Today a growing number of children are born prematurely with a range of medical conditions that often include sight and hearing impairments.    There are also older people who develop sight and hearing loss at later life.   Sense offers high quality, flexible services across the UK, using skilled staff and a dedicated network of volunteers so that patients can live as independently as possible.   It runs children’s specialist services, and organises summer holidays.

Pump Aid – October (Harvest)
Pump Aid exists to bring  water and sanitation solutions to rural Africa.  It works closely with communities to deliver a range of appropriate low cost, simple and sustainable water and sanitation, integrating the community into every step of the process.   It trains communities how to build and maintain their pump, revisiting its projects once they are finished to monitor and measure the impact of its work to ensure that local governments and craftsmen are prepared to keep the project going.

Poppy Appeal – November (Remembrance Sunday)
The first ever Poppy Day was held by the Royal British Legion on 11 November 1921, and it has continued yearly ever since.   The Legion’s purpose is to give practical help in time of need to all who served in the Armed Forces, and their widows and dependents.   With all the recent conflicts, there is an increasing need to help all members of the Forces and their families.

The Rowans Hospice – December
The Rowans Hospice offers palliative care to those with life-limiting illnesses in southeast Hampshire.  Their mission statement says “we honour life, and offer hope by providing specialist end-of-life care of the highest quality.  We guide patients and those closest to them through the journey of their illness, supporting them every step of the way”.

Shelter – December (Midnight Mass)
Shelter works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing.

Different sectors of the charity work together to achieve solutions for people in housing need.   They provide a free housing advice helpline which deals with a wide range of subjects from landlord problems to finding a place to sleep.   They have a number of Housing Aid Centres offering expert  information, advice and advocacy.   Their advisors help clients negotiate with councils, landlords and lenders.   They give advice to people at risk of homelessness.    Shelter provides projects in some cities to help families moving from temporary accommodation to settle in permanent homes and includes practical assistance to enable them get established in their new home and community.