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Refreshing those in need

by Michael Ford last modified 27 Nov, 2020 09:03 PM

As the pandemic continues and many struggle to make ends meet, our churches often work together across denominations and with local organisations, to make sure no-one goes without.

Refreshing those in need

Photo courtesy Pxfuel

Some are tackling food waste in an effort to make resources go further.

Amid the challenges of Covid-19, an expected severe winter and the approach of Christmas, various programmes are underway to ensure needy people in the Weymouth and Portland area can be well fed and warm.

Inter-church organisation Refresh is promoting its Safe Sleep programme for the third year in a row, providing shelter and meals for identified rough sleepers. Refresh coordinator Cherry Clarke says various churches are being asked to commit to providing hot meals on a weekly rotational basis.

The local Food Bank programme has also been revamped. There are now 3 outlets at Weymouth Baptist Church, St Francis Littlemoor and Westham Methodist Community Centre, working out of a central hub on the Granby Estate.

In promoting the faith side of the work, the united church in Weymouth stages regular prayer and praise zoom meetings known as ‘Refresh Praise’. 2 have been held so far and Cherry Clarke has announced the third will be held on 29th November at 7.00pm.

Outside the church-led charity programmes, but working closely with faith groups, is The Nest, a ‘community shop’ opening soon on Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth, to sell “good quality, nutritious food to those with limited disposable income at greatly reduced prices to help tackle hunger within Weymouth and reduce food waste.”

Its fund-raising efforts received a big boost in October last month with grants from Dorset County Council, Dorset Community Foundation, Weymouth Town Council, Tesco, Feeding Britain and Rotary, but more is still needed.

The Nest is also seeking volunteers to work in various roles inside the shop, plus personnel to handle distribution. Manager Eli Holland says:

“Currently, we're not able to offer deliveries to customers, as drivers are focused on collecting items from local supermarkets.”

More details are available from and from .

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