Creating Opportunities for a Brighter Future!

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Charity Shop news

Another happy customer!

Customer A started coming to our Just for You charity shop located at 72 Market Street, Birkenhead about 6 months ago after making friends with another young mum locally who told her about the shop.

Her visits to the shop have enabled her to identify a big change to the services on offer.  The Pay as You Feel section has enabled her to give her daughter a weekly treat when she is well behaved at school.  This incentive has not only had a positive impact on her daughter in school but “has also taken the pressure off a little at home” as both Customer A and her partner are trying to manage their mental and physical health issues, and most importantly, maintain a happy family.

Since the shop is now open 5 days a week Customer A has dropped in more frequently and spent more time with the Community Asset Team members, our volunteers.  She enjoys a walk to the shop after a cup of tea with her friend as she finds that everyone is welcoming.

When asked what makes this shop different she replied that there is a difference in being able to walk out with a bag of food knowing it was affordable and having been able to make a choice of the items she wants instead of receiving a hand out.

Customer A now recommends the shop to friends at her daughter’s school.  “It just makes sense to stop food going to landfill…just because a cereal box is bashed up, rich or poor we don’t eat the box but we all still eat cornflakes with milk don’t we?!”

Customer A has recently had difficulties with her benefits being cut and is waiting for a Universal Credit claim to be processed.  She and her partner agreed that they don’t have much money, but when they do spend, they choose to spend it wisely in the shop.

They added that they would like to get involved in the shop one day once their situation is stable.

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Working together to feed Birkenhead

On Thursday 9th November Forum’s Give and Gain Exchange teamed with Neo Community alongside other local organisations to offer support at Feeding Birkenhead’s latest campaign.

Feeding Birkenhead, which is chaired by Birkenhead MP Frank Field, has enabled local schools to both set up and maintain breakfast clubs through donations from the public.

Wirral Globe reported that 1,400 children will benefit from the generous donations made by members of the public and organisations such as HIS Church as breakfast clubs continue to offer this valuable service to children during their school term.  For further information, and the full article, please see the links below:

Feeding Birkenhead: http://www.frankfield.co.uk/campaigns/feeding-birkenhead.aspx

Feeding Britain: https://feeding-britain.org/

Richard Humphrey – HIS Church: https://twitter.com/richhumphrey74

Wirral Globe article: http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15653661.Enough_food_to_feed_1_400_schoolchildren_donated_thanks_to_Feeding_Birkenhead_and_His_Church/

 

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Homeless Awareness Week 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of Homeless Awareness Week staff from Forum Housing Association took part in a rough sleep out on Saturday 21st October.

Adverse weather conditions on the night caused by Storm Brian meant that staff had to take shelter in Market Wells car park which highlights the plight suffered by rough sleepers.

Staff visited hot spots in the area where homeless people have been seen to offer support along with warm coats and hot food which had been very kindly donated.  We were also able to highlight the services provided by Forum and similar organisations in the area.

Thank you to everyone who came along to offer their support.  We still need donations of toiletries and towels so if you can help please see our appeals page for further information or get in touch in any of the ways detailed in our Contact Us section.

 

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President’s Dinner 2017

 

Forum’s annual President’s Dinner was held on 12th October at the Hollins Hey Hotel, New Brighton. The event, which was hosted by Forum’s President Mrs Chris Allen BEM, provided the opportunity to celebrate another successful year.

Attendees included the Mayor, Mrs Ann McLachlan and her consort, husband Bill, the Association’s Patron, Bishop Keith Sinclair who was accompanied by his wife Rosie, as well as numerous Association Board members and Staff.

Guests were treated to a wine reception and four course dinner which was followed by a presentation by guest speaker Avril Devaney MBE who talked inspiringly about the work of the Jamie Devaney Memorial Fund, a UK based charity which supports mental health care in Uganda.

 

 

President Chris Allen then presented our staff with the Player of the Year Awards.  The six categories represent the core values of the Association and provide the opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of staff, Board and Association members.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Positivity, Passion, Optimism & Energy

Pam Rigby

Generous Heart

Clare Murphy

Patience & Understanding

Amanda Flynn, Annette Brown, Chris Jones, Kath Corrigan

Pioneering, Courageous, Resilient, Open to Change

Debbie O’ Connor

Integrity (Honest, Loyal, Committed)

Alison Jones, Clare Murphy

Inner Conviction, Outward Expression

Ben Shone, Garry Seddon, Heather Parry, Pam Rigby, Tania Minns

Learner of the Year

Georgina Dulhanty

FENW

Rachael Cousins, Sarah McGrady

 

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Macmillan Coffee morning

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning ….

On Friday 29th September 2017 Forum held another successful coffee morning to raise money to support Macmillan Nurses and the work they do.

The main aim of Macmillan Nurses is to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.  They provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support as well as campaigning for better cancer care.  The work they do is vital as cancer affects more than just those who are facing it; Macmillan are there for friends and family too.

Thank you to all of those staff who put their baking skills to good use and also those who roped in family to do it on their behalf!

But most of all a big thank you to everyone who contributed by joining us.  We hoped you enjoyed the cakes!

 

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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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Forum in the Community

Soon after discussing ways Forum in the Community could provide support to the local area Debbie O’Connor, Team Leader – Housing Solutions Team was approached by Town Host Mark Clemson, Birkenhead BID with an opportunity to help.

A new family business “One Stop 4 Paws” was due to open within just a couple of days but needed help completing their redecoration.

Debbie O’Connor shared “Our new Kickstart programme, is about engaging with young people who want to get involved in the community and helping them into education or employment. With that in mind, we could see that this was a fantastic opportunity to help Christina and Mark. Here is to more up and coming events and great partnerships!!”

Debbie immediately co-ordinated a response to this urgent appeal.  The next day a team of volunteers, both staff and young people wanting to give back the community, arrived ready to clean and paint wherever required. Fuelled by the refreshments and sandwiches donated by another neighbour, Mandy’s Place, the team successfully completed the mammoth task.

Christina Harris owner of “One Stop 4 Paws” said “knowing that there are people out there who are willing to help a family set up a business is amazing. We started in November 2016 with an idea and to be where we are now is phenomenal. We are really happy to be the newest member of this community and are really looking forward to opening and will definitely be getting involved and giving back.”

If you know of a community initiative our team can help with, please contact us.

 

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Supporting Liverpool Pride

Pride- Homes for Everyone

Forum are pleased to be a member of Homes for Everyone, a group of 14 housing organisations working together to promote inclusivity in housing throughout Merseyside.  Homes for Everyone are an official sponsor of Liverpool Pride, and Forum are happy to continue to contribute towards this.

Working on behalf of Forum’s Equality and Diversity Steering Group, our Meaningful Activities Team participated in Homes for Everyone group meetings, assisting in planning the march and enabling Forum’s LGBT community the opportunity to be represented.

On Saturday 29 July the Meaningful Activities Team and 10 young people attended and supported Liverpool Pride.  As part of the 200 representatives from the Homes for Everyone group, showing united support and passion for equality and diversity, they participated in the 1.6 mile march from St Georges Hall across Liverpool City Centre.

Our young people had a fantastic time taking part in face painting, a multi coloured paint battle, listening to live music, and experiencing all the culture and diversity that Liverpool Pride has to offer.

When asked about the event young people said

“ It was an inspirational experience, really fun and enjoyable, boss day”

“ I loved it, it was something I wouldn’t of normally done, but I am made up I did”

 

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Annual General Meeting 2016

AGM-170517-2

On Wednesday 17th May 2017 Forum celebrated its 2016 AGM at the Lauries Centre, Birkenhead.  It was a fantastic night hosted by our Patron, the Right Reverend Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead.  Our guests were treated to an evening of celebration and inspiration.

Stalls were set-up around the room displaying the creative works of some of our residents  who have engaged with the Meaningful Activity Team’s ‘A La Carte’ programme.

Attendees were impressed by a programme filled with drama, fun, truth, and sometimes tears, as our staff and residents treated them to a roller-coaster ride from aspiring to move forward, to inspiring others to do the same!

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Christmas Gift Bag Appeal 2016

Thank you to all Churches, Organisations, Schools and members of our community who donated to Forum’s 2016 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.

We can’t thank the community enough for the generosity, kindness and support towards the work we do for young people.