Tunbridge Wells Churches Street Teams is a voluntary organisation which was launched in October 2009, although we were originally part of the work of the Bridge Trust running for several years under their banner. Our remit is to provide point-of-need contact for the homeless and disadvantaged in Tunbridge Wells with the aim of providing food and warm clothing for all those who need it. We will tell you who you can contact if you wish to donate either financially or materially or would like to pray for the work we do. We thank you for taking the time to read about us.
The general economy had started to show signs of recovery but not enough to make any real impact on the numbers of guests we saw in the last year, so support for the homeless and needy needs to be as strong as ever in our next year.
Last year I said that I would like us to integrate with other similar organisations that operate in the Tunbridge Wells area to enable us to help people more. I am pleased to say that I now attend the monthly council meetings for rough sleepers. There are representatives from CRI, Porchlight, Bridge Trust, the Police, CAB, Town & Country Housing, Winter Shelter and the Soup bowl. We are all helping each other.
Unbelievably we have lost four of our guests, sadly some face problems at every corner they turn. On the positive side, at least three people that we know who visit the street teams have been housed in the last year.
We really wanted to set up another night to operate - we decided it would be a Saturday. We received a donation for set up costs from St Augustine’s church and our lead volunteer for the team did several talks at various churches to recruit volunteers. Hard work paid off and on September 20th we were operational.
Lastly a big thank you to all of the amazing volunteers, cooks, donors and everyone else who have dedicated their time and money to supporting the street teams over the last year. Without you we could not provide the invaluable service we provide six nights a week. And hopefully next year I will be writing seven nights a week. Vicki Stewart – Chairperson