Tag Archives: grants

Happy 11th Birthday to the Turbary Resource Centre!

On the 13th of November we marked our 11th Anniversary since opening our Centre. We are so thankful to have been able to serve local families and individuals through having our own dedicated building located behind Hope Church.  This has only been possible due to generous donations, grants, fundraising and the many volunteering hours of wonderful helpers who have touched lives for the better.

Support for parents and adult educational courses have been a key feature providing life skills, mental health and trauma support. CAP Money Budgeting course, Job seeking clubs, IT and Nutrition are just samples, through to the SOS trauma recovery and Mental Health First Aid, to the current MOAT course which offers 1 to 1 coaching in the Management of Anxiety and Trauma.

Our primary project for much of this time is our East Dorset Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre. We provide a face to face free service in partnership with Hope Church and CAP Head Office in Bradford. While we do not pay the debt of our clients, we negotiate with creditors and put together an individualised budget.  Holistic support is offered throughout their journey out of debt. Thus far we have supported 29 families and individuals in becoming debt free and starting afresh. A further 14 families have gone on to clearing their debt independently as a result of our support. Alongside this we offer the CAP Money Management course which is open to all to help people to budget and gain control over their finances.

Our after school and craft clubs have been enjoyed by many a family, as have our many years of running Friday night café until Covid sadly resulted in lockdown for all of us.  Café was an opportune time for clients from all our projects to relax and enjoy wholesome low cost meals with friendly company. Hope Church Ferndown sponsored the meals for our CAP Debt service clients.

We continue to enjoy close links with Jean Read, who opened our Centre as part of her Mayoral duties 11 years ago.  She often pops in to the Centre, and has been spied helping in the background during Christmas meals for our clients and volunteers. Our local police and police support officers have been involved over the years, often popping in to engage with staff and families when in the local area.

It’s been a privilege to have been chosen to receive various Dorset County Befriending Awards for volunteers. This has been a wonderful accolade to the calibre of volunteers who support our clients and ‘go the extra mile’.

As ever, our essentials Store Cupboard continues to be a major part of our support for local residents. This is stocked by donations from local stores and churches, providing practical support in increasingly challenging times. In addition we cooked and delivered hot meals and groceries to clients during various lockdowns in the Covid Pandemic and at Christmas.

Looking back it’s phenomenal to see what has grown from something that started with offering school parents a cuppa and a chat while they waited for the bus!

Our warmest thanks to all who’ve made this possible over these 11 years!

Stay Warm This Winter as Energy Prices Rise

The Bus Stop Club and Hope Church share tips to help people

During Warm Homes Week 27-30 September, The Bus Stop Club Charity and Hope Church, Ferndown is highlighting the issue of fuel poverty.

The charity and church run a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre which offers free debt help for clients in the local area. 

Pam Ansell, East Dorset & Ringwood Debt Centre Manager, said: “We’ve seen food prices rise, the Universal Credit uplift being cut and now with fuel tariffs increasing we’re worried about where this will leave people.”

“We’re encouraging people to access help and support towards the beginning of the winter rather than waiting until the end.

Many of those we help have struggled to stay warm over the winter, but knowing where to get support, combined with some simple energy saving tips, can make a difference.”

There are several schemes and top tips which can help people with saving money and staying warm this winter:

  1. Check with your energy company whether you are on the most appropriate tariff for your gas and electricity and if necessary, shop around for a cheaper deal by swapping suppliers.
  2. Ensure that your meter readings are accurate and that you are only paying for the energy you use.
  3. Investigate whether your home needs insulation to keep as much of the heat you are paying for in your home rather than having it escape through the roof and walls. Find local sources of support for warmer homes such as boiler grants and free loft insulation. For more details see:
    simpleenergyadvice.org.uk
    moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/free-cavity-loft-insulation or moneysavingexpert.com/family/grant-grabbing
  4. Turn the thermostat down by just two degrees from 20°C to 18°C. This will make a big difference. If you can afford to, make sure that you have your boiler serviced to ensure it is operating efficiently. If you still feel cold, wrap up in a jumper or blanket before turning the thermostat up any higher.
  5. Spend less time in the shower by setting a timer. This could save a family of four, on average, as much as £100 per year.
  6. Use cold water for handwashing. It’s the soap that kills the bacteria, not the hot water.
  7. Unplug your microwave. A microwave uses energy to power its clock 24/7. By unplugging it when you’re not using it, you can really cut down on electricity.
  8. Replace your light bulbs. Moving from traditional incandescent bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LED bulbs saves money because they are 90% more energy efficient and last 50 times longer.

CAP client, Peter, explained how CAP helped him:The letters were piling on the anxiety. It wasn’t good. When you’ve got that pressure on you, it makes you feel very depressed. You don’t want anybody to find out, so you try and keep everything to yourself. 

I was paying to settle my debts with gas and electricity – it was an accumulation of debt over time.

Now the debt is paid off. It makes life easier! I don’t have to pay those increased costs as I’m not in debt anymore. The payments have come down, so I have more money to play around with. Now, I have gas, electric and insurance which is all paid by direct debit. Then I have water and television that I pay for regularly. Now once I’ve paid those I don’t have to worry.

When something comes through the door now, I don’t have to feel afraid anymore. It’s great! I’m not fearful of it.

Working with CAP has made a big difference to my life now. It’s a sense of being determined not to get into that situation again. That’s the biggest thing for me. And to try and keep to a budget.

It’s a bit of a reality check. It’s easy to get into debt, anybody can get into debt, and there are people a lot worse off than me. But there’s no use running away from it and burying your head in the sand. You’ve got to face up to it and want to try and sort it.”

Pam added: “For some people, like Graham, it may be that debt help is needed but for others, these simple tips or knowing where to access help with grants and low-cost support schemes can be all that’s needed to go into the winter feeling prepared.”

If anyone reading this is worried about debts piling up that are causing anxiety and stress, then contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 as soon as possible to get free debt help.

In print again! The Bus Stop Club’s response to the pandemic

Featured in ‘Dorset In The Pandemic: Covid Impact Report’

by the Dorset Community Foundation

Click here to view our feature on page 11 and see this inspiring report!

We are so thankful for the grant from the Dorset Community Foundation that enabled us to reach out in such a key way to those in our local area. The hot meals and groceries were greatly appreciated by our clients and others made known to us. A big thank you to all who made this possible!

Click here to view our other news items featuring our meal and grocery deliveries with photos of our cheerful, superb volunteers!

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.”