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Good Friday Goody Bags!

Easter’s celebration of new life was a great time to conclude our weekly grocery deliveries with a bang – in the sunshine! This was to coincide with the national loosening of restrictions, which is gradually giving us all a ‘new life’ of sorts. We added a flourish of special Easter treats and freshly baked choc munchies cooked by Susan in the centre’s kitchen.

Some of our cheerful, amazing volunteers who tirelessly delivered groceries on Fridays during the three lockdowns!

This Bus Stop Club initiative was set up to support the most vulnerable clients from our various projects including the CAP debt release work as well as any others we were made aware of during the three Lockdowns since March 2020 until April 2021. Brownies, freshly baked scones or other treats appeared most weeks inside the Friday grocery bags – delicious!

It goes without saying that the warm smiles on the doorsteps each Friday will be sorely missed. A BIG THANK YOU goes out to all our kind team of volunteers and all who donated the food items which made this possible.

Movers and Shakers – Transport in Craft!

Wow watch them go! Each week Lucie delivers the latest craft kit challenges to the After School families complete with a sheet of parenting tips for support in these challenging times, plus occasional yummy treats!

What would you come up with if you were tasked with producing any item of transport out of this jumbled heap of items…?

Can you make a creation out of this chaos?

Well, below are just some of the ‘sterling’ constructions sent in to us from families in picture form via our social media page. Impressive stuff! ‘Go gadget go!’

We are so thankful to funding from Cash 4 Kids, which helps us keep this weekly group running, albeit from home for now.

A terrific truck emerges from the heap!
Local movers and shakers!

It just goes to show what fantastic creations can be made out of seeming chaos!

Charity of the Month – Bus Stop Club in print!

The Blackmore Vale Online Community Magazine

We were delighted to be featured as charity of the month! See the detailed information below.

Click here to see our in depth article on page 56 and view the publication.

Charity of the Month, The Blackmore Vale, Page 56, March ’21

“The Bus Stop Club is a local charity located in the Turbary Resource Centre, at the edge of Ferndown. We are a befriending charity, seeking to support parents and families from the East Dorset area and beyond. Our small core staff team are very blessed to have a number of loyal volunteers who work alongside us.

Food: Since the first lockdown last year we have had to change some of our activities, but our Centre remains open every day Mon to Fri 9-11am for essential groceries – we also have donations of fresh food available on Tuesday mornings. We are very grateful for food donations from customers that we collect weekly from our local Sainsbury’s store. We are also part of the Fare Share (Tesco) and Neighbourly (Lidl) food donation schemes. Currently we are delivering groceries on Fridays to a number of individuals and families in need. We are currently delivering craft packs on Wednesdays to local families with younger school children, thanks to financial support from Cash 4 Kids.

We are supported financially by local trusts, foundations, community chest grants, churches and individuals – we are very thankful for all the support we have received, particularly during periods of lockdown since March 2020.

Our main project is the East Dorset CAP Debt Centre, also covering Ringwood and Bearwood. CAP stands for Christians Against Poverty, a national charity based in Bradford with hundreds of Centres all over the UK. Their services are free to those in unmanageable debt. Since starting our East Dorset CAP Centre we have seen 26 individuals go debt free. We currently have vacancies for new clients, so if you or someone you know needs support, just phone the CAP freephone number: 0800 328 0006. CAP Head Office will be glad to speak to you and explain how CAP can start you on your journey out of debt. There are also local CAP Centres in Poole and Bournemouth.

MOAT Coaching: Since September 2020 we have been offering individual coaching sessions to those who want to manage their anxiety better, and to learn some strategies for processing historical trauma. MOAT Coaching is available to adults at a cost of £20 registration fee. We currently have spaces, so if you are interested please drop me an email. Those who have completed the programme have all found it very helpful. Susan Sutherland, Project Manager.

Contact details:

www.thebusstopclub.co.uk ssutherland@hotmail.co.uk

Mobile: 07866 692528.”

Heart-warming CAP hampers

… brought comfort and joy at Christmas!

Christmas CAP hampers and cheerful helpers
Some of the cheery Christmas hampers and smiling CAP team

Pam, our CAP Debt Coach, was thankful for the fabulous response at Christmas from local churches, supermarkets and the volunteers who helped pack, buy, donate money, food, gifts and deliver hampers to 15 families and single people who are on their journey out of debt and others who have recently become debt free!

So far 26 families and individuals have worked their way out of debt with our free service and support throughout their journey! Our local East Dorset CAP Centre works in partnership with the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Head Office in Bradford who negotiate with creditors and compile a budget for a repayment plan or other routes out of debt, in line with government guidelines. CAP have received many awards in the finance industry over the 25 years that they have been offering this free support service to help people work their way out of crushing financial debt.

Beautifully wrapped hamper of goodies
Smiling volunteers with beautifully wrapped hampers full of goodies!

What some of our CAP clients said about their hampers:

It’s gorgeous what a big help bless you xx

I was really blown away by the hamper!

Speechless, then over the moon, very thankful…

Was so pleased to receive the hamper – a big thank you.

Sumptuously wrapped hamper of treats
Sumptuously wrapped hamper of tasty treats!

60 Christmas dinners cooked and delivered with goody bags!

What a wonderful way to spread some good Christmas Cheer!

Smiling Susan Cooking 60 Christmas Dinners
Smiling Susan Cooking 60 Christmas Dinners

The Bus Stop Club broke its record this Christmas by cooking and delivering a total of 60 Christmas dinners to individuals and families we support! This was in place of having a sit down meal together at the Centre with clients and volunteers from our various projects including After School Craft, CAP Debt Centre, MOAT Courses (1:2:1 Management of Anxiety and Trauma Recovery), Food Store Cupboard and many others who receive our support.

Each dinner was delivered to the door by one of our super volunteers with a smile and a large goody bag full of generously donated groceries and treats. We say a big thank you again to all involved from those donating and collecting food supplies to assembling meals and goody bags to driving and delivering them. Thank you! Clients have said what a difference this made at this time, with some texting or sending us a Christmas card saying thank you!