Creating Opportunities for a Brighter Future!

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Birkenhead to Amsterdam Cycling Challenge

Seven Cyclists

Eight Days

Four Countries

600 Miles

One Goal:  to help to transform the lives of young homeless people.

Forum Staff Member Brian Hinton and a group of likeminded friends have set themselves a huge challenge, cycling from Birkenhead to Amsterdam to raise awareness and funds for Forum Housing Association.

The trip will be broken down into seven stages;

Stage 1: Birkenhead to Birmingham. 94 miles.
Stage 2: Birmingham to Oxford. 80 miles.
Stage 3: Oxford to Putney, London. 64 miles.
Stage 4: Putney, London to Calais, France. 90 miles.
Stage 5: Calais, France to Ghent, Belgium. 100 miles.
Stage 6: Ghent, Belgium to Breda, The Netherlands. 73 miles.
Stage 7: Breda, The Netherlands to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 75 miles.

This will be a total of over 600 miles and around 48 hours of cycling.

We wish the group well as they complete their preparations before undertaking this considerable endeavour at the end of May and will be eagerly following their progress.

To sponsor this entirely self organised event go to:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tour-de-foyer
To follow developments of the trip visit their Facebook page at; https://www.facebook.com/TourDeForum/

The group would appreciate it if you could share both these links with your contacts to encourage them and help them to reach their target

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Kip on the Kop

Forum Housing are excited to be participating in Wirral Ark’s first annual sleep out event on Friday 5 October at Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers Football Club.

What is the sleep out?

Aptly named ‘Kip on the Kop’, the event has been organised by Wirral Ark to raise public awareness of homelessness, and funds on behalf of itself and a number of local homelessness service providers; Forum Housing Association, Phoenix Futures, Riverside, Wirral Ways to Recovery, Wirral Women and Children’s Aid, and YMCA Wirral.  Participants will ‘sleeping out’ under the stars (or clouds) from 6pm on 5 October to 6am on the 6 October.

How can I get involved with the sleep out?

There are a number of ways you can get involved;

  1. You can sign up to take part by visiting the official Kip on the Kop website: kiponthekop.com.

It costs £10 to sign up and there is a minimum fundraising target of £50 per person. Participants must provide their own warm clothing and sleeping bag.  There are limited spaces so if you’re interested in joining us please sign up without delay.  Fundraising packs will be sent out directly to registered participants by Wirral Ark’s fundraising team.

  1. You can sponsor someone that is taking part in the event.

If you do not know anyone taking part just yet, do not worry. We have a number of representatives from Forum Housing taking part. We will be happy to forward sponsorships to them.

Please email Forum’s lead on the event at brian.hinton@forumhousing.co.uk if you are interested in being a sponsor.

  1. You can help spread the word. As this is the first of the annual event, your help with telling friends, family, colleagues, business partners etc is going to go a long way in making it a success. So please get the word out and help create a real buzz for the event.

If you have any queries please get in touch with Brian, or if you would like to provide corporate sponsorship please contact the fundraising team at Wirral Ark directly: fundraising@wirralark.org.uk

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Wirral Kayak Challenge 2018

Congratulations to all 86 kayakers taking part in the Wirral Kayak Challenge 2018, to raise money for Claire House and Wirral Holistic Care Services.

On calm waters the group set off from New Brighton, to a sandbank beyond Hilbre Island where they waited for the tide to turn before continuing on to Thurstaston, a total of 15 miles and in glorious sunshine.

Forum’s Michael Hardman, a first time participant, found the sunburn more of a hindrance than the 10,000 paddle strokes.

Michael thanked colleagues for all their support and sponsorship, saying that ‘the event was a big success and (despite the sunburn) it was a great experience.  We couldn’t have had a better day for it, and all the competitors made it to the finish line to raise lots of money for two great charities.’

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Can Do Fund

Generous donations that Forum receives from churches and individuals, is added to money raised through fundraising schemes and events to create our Can Do fund.

Our residents face many barriers to achieving small steps, much less big dreams; the CAN DO fund is used along side planned support programmes to give  young people a helping hand, supporting them to overcome obstacles they face.

Applications are received to fund a wide range of items which would be difficult to obtain without the Can Do fund, including:

  • Hair styling and make over session for someone with body image and self confidence issues.
  • Smart clothes and shoes for a new job / interview
  • Ordering a copy of a birth certificate for ID, in order to open a bank account
  • Repairing glasses and going for eye tests
  • Administration charges to secure a positive move on property
  • Driving Theory Test

One young person who accessed the Can Do Fund this year is an experienced Para Climber, and attends tournaments across the country. Climbing is used by this young person as a coping method for her disabilities and other challenges. An application was made to the Can Do fund for replacement climbing shoes which had become worn and were a concern for the resident who currently performs at such a high level she could be considered for the selection process of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – a very exciting prospect!  The young person was overjoyed to receive the new shoes which she could not have obtained without the support from the Can Do fund.

 

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Forum Creative Enterprise News

 

Working together in our Community….

On Friday 22nd September Forum Creative Enterprise worked collaboratively with Asda’s Community Engagement Employee Nichole and NEO Community to re-donate lots of household items and children’s toys to four neighbouring district charity shops in Rockferry, Birkenhead, Claughton and Tranmere.  We hope that by pooling our time and assets we are helping fellow charities raise funds for those in need as well as being better placed to develop new opportunities in the communities we serve such as a Pay-As-You-Feel shop and a new Social Supermarket at 72-74 Market Street, Birkenhead.

 

Neo Community Celebration

Thanks to Ema and her team at Neo Community for a fantastic evening on Thursday 28th September at Beaconsfield Community House.  Forum Creative Enterprise has been working hard with like minded community partners such as Neo Community to develop ‘Give and Gain’ exchanges such as this.

The evening saw Neo Community’s proud launch of the Wirral 50 Club.  This simple idea can make a big difference with businesses being asked to sign up as founder members of the club, each pledging a small monthly amount.  The money raised will secure the future of Neo Community’s Wirral wide offering as well as supporting an additional 12 projects each year with a grant of up to £2500.  For more information on Wirral 50 and how to sign up please email one of the Neo team at info@neocommunity.org.uk.

Guest speakers on the night included Neo Community’s new patron, MP Frank Field, Mayor Ann McLachlan and her husband Bill. The evening was rounded off with a presentation by Ema who drew attention to the work Forum Creative Enterprise is doing to facilitate the new Community Social Supermarket.

Facts and figures presented on the evening highlight that deprivation has hit a new peak. However, with the combined passion of groups, businesses and communities the amount of food going to waste can be reduced.  Everyone is welcome to come and shop.

For more information about the new Community Social Supermarket or how you can get involved, please contact Amy Butterworth, Community Asset & Resource Developer on 0151 649 9718 or amy.butterworth@forumhousing.co.uk

 

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Bike Ride Challenge

Well done to two of Forum Staff Members Chris and Laura O’Toole on succesfully completeing a 48 mile bike ride in just under 5.5 hours to raise awareness and funds for vulnerable young people living at Forum Housing Association.

Chris and Laura wanted to celebrate their first year of marriage by doing something different together, and so instead of going out for a romantic meal opted to take on their very own Mr & Mrs Bike Ride Challenge.

On Saturday 10th September Chris and Laura cycled between Wirral, Ellesmere Port and Chester stopping off at all Forum accommodation projects along the way.

Chris commented…

“It’s our first year of marriage and we wanted to celebrate this special occasion by giving something back together as Mr & Mrs.  This is not just a job for us, Forum and the work we do here is something we both truly feel passionate towards, helping someone in need when they are at the lowest point in their lives and have no one else to turn to.”

All money raised from the challenge will help to fund activities and initiatives to help young people accommodated with the Association, gain confidence and stability required to help them move their lives forward.

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Unilever Give Back to the Community

Thank you to Unilever Port Sunlight who donated toiletries to Forum in March.  The team at Forum were able to make up 86 welcome packs for young people who arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing.  Here at Forum we see many unfortunate situations, when young people arrive they haven’t got the necessary items to help them to feel clean.  Not only have the welcome packs provided a warm and positive welcome, they have also given young people a sense of pride again.  Each pack contained shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrush.  All of which have been gratefully received by our new residents.

Thank you Unilever, you really have made a huge difference.

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Charity Shop Makeover

 

Forum’s ‘Just for You’ Charity Shop on Market Street in Birkenhead has had a bit of a facelift thanks to one special lady, Helen Britton.  Over the last 4 weeks Helen has volunteered over 150 hours of her own time providing the shop with a new feel and a fresh new look, working alongside the team here at Forum Housing.  Helen has spent the last thirty years helping small Charities who all have the same aim – to improve the lives of underprivileged young people across the North West.

As well as the shop getting a repaint and new layout, work has been done to develop marketing and promotional material, volunteer recruitment and training, plus strengthening the links within the local community.  As well as all the things that go with the day to day running of the shop, links have been made with Wirral Metropolitan College Princes’ Trust with one young person already completing his two week placement.  A new voucher system is also in place for any of our young people who are in need of clothing or household items.  Helen commented:

“I was introduced to the team at Forum Housing after reading an article about the wonderful work they do to help young people within our community who are going through a tough time and need guidance and support to help them through to a positive future.  Since volunteering at the Charity Shop ‘Just for You’, I have been able to bring with me all the skills and experience that I have gained over many years working to raise funds for those less fortunate than ourselves.

I believe that our youth are the future and without a listening ear, support and guidance some find themselves in very challenging situations.  That is why I have chosen Forum Housing to support as this has been my passion throughout my career.

The ‘Just for You’ Charity Shop has had a makeover and looks welcoming, fresh and inviting. Prices are very reasonable and every customer new and old is welcomed with a warm smile.

I would recommend anyone wanting to volunteer with us at ‘Just for You’ come in and meet us for a chat. We plan to hold many fundraising events, up cycling sessions and making things out of items that have been donated to us such as records and materials into household items.  If you can sew, knit or have a skill you would like to bring to us, we would love to hear from you.  I have always had pride in everything I do and am very proud to be part of such a great organisation and team.”

Forum would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Helen for all the hard work and expert advice we have gratefully received and are very excited to see what happens next.

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Christmas Appeal 2015

Thank you to all Churches, Organisations, Schools and members of our community who donated to Forum’s 2015 Christmas Appeal. Yet again, we have been overwhelmed with your generosity.

The team here at Forum packed up over 280 bags containing Christmas gifts, toiletries and treats all donated by you, and distributed them out to young people living in Forum on the Wirral, Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East. The Christmas period can be a particularly lonely and isolated time for some of our residents, with many of them spending it alone, Christmas bags really do help make a huge difference and cheer our young people up at a time when they might be feeling particularly low.

To show our appreciation, a thank you card with messages from our residents has been sent out to everyone who donated.  We can’t thank the community enough for the generosity, kindness and support towards the work we do for young people.

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Macmillan Coffee Morning

Forum Housing Association raised funds for Macmillan at their Birkenhead Charity Shop ‘Just for You’ in September by taking part in the world’s biggest coffee morning. Forum staff, customers and members of the community baked delicious cakes and treats and served coffee to the locals which raised £300.00 for a fantastic cause. The funds raised will definitely make a difference to people’s lives and will help support people and families whose lives are sadly affected by cancer. A big thank you to everyone involved with this year’s event.