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Diocesan Fund helps Poole's homeless

by Michael Ford last modified 17 Jul, 2020 02:55 PM

The project to convert an old Baptist Church into a centre for the homeless is well and truly on track after a donation from our Social Welfare Fund and a month of crowdfunding.

The trustees of the Salisbury Diocesan Social Welfare Fund have approved a grant of £5000 to Routes to Roots in Poole to help kit out their new centre.

The charity also receievd a cheque for £1000 from an individual donor.

R2R were also given a window of opportunity to raise more money via Aviva Community Fund’s crowdfunding platform and have raised £2892 with a further £576 through Gift Aid.

Routes to Roots purchased a former Baptist Church in the town where they held their first drop-ins.

While they own the building outright - paid for with a combination of their own funds, an interest-free loan from Talbot Village Trust repayable only in the event of selling, and a grant from Help the Homeless - they need money to carry out a substantial refurbishment.

This refurbishment will include a new heating system, insulation, kitchen, showers, laundry room and office space.

The charity hopes to raise £10,000 towards the refurbishment of their Hill Street building which can give homeless and vulnerably housed people a centre where they can access all the help they need to make lasting changes to their lives.

Susan Gittins from Poole's Routes to Roots said:

"I think we are doing pretty well all told!

"We expect to receive planning permission for all the interior work at the church by next week and are getting quotes for the building work, so we should hopefully be making a start soon."

In June MC Plan and Site Services offered to do the building control for the building pro bono and Albion Language Tour Company has donated office furniture and equipment including a full-size Xerox copier with scanner, folder and staple functions, 12 tables, some 40 chairs, filing cabinets and shelving.

The Church is Grade 2 listed, but in May they received permission to remove the pews, which has sparked lots of local interest. A local organist has also been in touch to ask for any parts of the old organ which he may be able to put to good use elsewhere.

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