St Francis Employability - Reviving Communities

by Selina Read in Coventry, England, United Kingdom

St Francis Employability - Reviving Communities
Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

Based in a church building in the heart of Radford, our primary aim is to transform our community and transform the lives of local people!

by Selina Read in Coventry, England, United Kingdom

  • What we do

We are a registered charity (1182309), based within an Anglican Parish Church in Coventry, working across an area which has pockets of deprivation ranked in the top 10% in the country and none higher than the top 20%. We work with people from all over Coventry, a city with higher-than-average unemployment and deprivation and a city that takes more refugees than any other local authority outside of London. Based in a church building in the heart of Radford, our primary aim is to transform our community and transform the lives of local people by helping them to move forward to social and financial inclusion and employment/education. We firmly believe that people can be empowered to improve their lives through developing skills and gaining experience. 

Within our building we offer a work club with a computer area, as well employment support such as job search, cv writing, interview skills and help completing job application forms. We provide ESOL lessons and skills training in several sectors and have an on-site creche facility for those who have small children. We offer community support in the form of benefit applications, budgeting support, help understanding bills, and much more. We have a community café area which serves breakfast and lunch throughout the week, and we also run a foodbank and a social supermarket. 

The work we do in the community is needed, and is accessed by many people from all walks of life.  We work with some of the city's most vulnerable people, and have been able to make a difference in the lives of many. We firmly believe that our work matters. 

What we need

With a demand on our services, and people needing our support more than ever, we need your help to keep us running! The building we operate from is in desperate need of repair, and needs some significant work. Our roof is leaking, our electrics are not adequate, and we have no running water within the church it's self. We often have to find money to fix parts of our building which hinders the support we are able to offer. Despite these challenges, we still have a footfall of 100 people per day who are accessing some of the services we provide. We could really do with some funds to allow us to carry out some of our repairs. 

The rise in energy prices has had an impact on many of the family's we support, and whilst we are working hard to ensure we can make things better for others,  energy prices have also had an impact on us! St Francis Employability acts as a warm hub, and we often look after people who have nowhere else to go...yet our energy costs are through the roof (literally - with our poorly fitted, leaking roof). We need help to pay those energy bills, so that we can continue to offer a warm, safe space to those who really need one. Can you donate to help us pay our energy bills, so that we can still operate the way we do?

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We also need help to purchase food. We support the community with a food offer in many forms, and rely on donations and surplus food from supermarkets, but for most of what we do, we have to buy our food supplies from various places, which is costing us a fortune! Our social supermarket alone consists of 52 members (capped because we do not have the resources to support more than this), and we have a waiting list. In 2022 the demand was much lower; we supported 30 households per week and we didn't have a wating list. We have provided approximately two thirds of the social supermarket parcels we provided in 2022 ALREADY in the first 6 months of 2023. The need is there, the demand is growing, and we want to do more. Could you offer some funds to help us buy food?

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 In addition to the challenges mentioned, we also need to rent space in order to run, AND consistently look for funding to pay for staff, as well as our running costs. We currently have 27 paid staff members, and we work with over 70 volunteers to support the running of our services. We know that in order for us to make an impact on our community, and on the lives of those who really need it, we need to raise some funds, and we need some sustainability! We want to keep doing what we do, in fact, we want to do more, but our resources are limited. Can you help us, so that we can help those who need our support? We can't do this on our own, and no matter how little you can give, every little helps. 


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