One Way group
Drop-in and support group
Harvest Church, Alton, UK
About 11 years ago, we were prompted to start this ministry because of unmet local needs. ‘One Way’ is predominately a Drop–in providing a place to be and somewhere to feel safe, receive practical, emotional or spiritual help, to set a direction for the future.
We do various activities throughout each day; CV writing, bidding for housing, form filling and administration, art class, craft, talks/testimonies, games, quiz time and jigsaw puzzles. We provide a hot meal for £2 on a Wednesday for those who require it. We signpost to other services including CAP and have an agency who work alongside us on a Wednesday providing professional support with housing and needs around benefits.
Many of the group members suffer social isolation, depression, anxiety, some have autistic issues, mental health struggles, learning difficulties and struggle to communicate effectively. A number have said that ‘One Way’ is the highlight of their week and is a place where they feel safe, accepted and valued.
We provide a drop-in between 10am to 4pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for vulnerable people in the Alton community. We have an age range of 22-83 years old, with an average attendance of 12 plus 3 staff on Tuesdays and 16 plus 3 staff on Wednesdays.
- We have seen 5 members of the group come to faith and be baptised
- 3 others are attending Alpha
- We hold a simple bible study each week which we have average of 4/5 attendees who take away hand out sheets.
- One is now learning to cook with a volunteer chef and helps provide food on a Wednesday for those who require a hot meal.
- One, who has major anxiety issues, is now volunteering in the Centre’s Café once a week
- All attendees state that they feel safe and feel at home –it is like a family.
- In 2016 the group grieved the loss of 5 members during the year.
If you are considering setting up a similar group, make sure you do your research, and communicate the project idea and consult with the community mental health team, doctors surgeries, support workers, social services, CAB and other local social housing support providers to find out what is the need.
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