Love Britain & Ireland Award
The Wild Goose Drop-In Centre provides hot meals, shower facilities, clothing and toiletries four days a week and an evening meal six nights a week for those in extreme poverty and need. It is open to everyone, with no means testing or referral needed, so anyone from any background can come along (and many do), making it accessible to those who get easily forgotten or sidelined by mainstream systems, and an overloaded government provision with very long waiting lists.
The centre also serves as a hub in signposting to appropriate voluntary and council services for service users, as well as providing volunteering opportunities and access points for agencies working with this client group.
The volunteer team consists of hundreds of people from all traditions and denominations of church, all over Bristol.
What the Wild Goose Drop-in Centre does:
- Gives out clothing, toiletries and access to phones etc as people need. Engages in conversations with people to show them that they are worth being listened to.
- Hosts advisory sessions about housing, finance, employment, health, citizens' rights, alcohol and drug issues in partnership with local statutory and voluntary organisations.
- Hosts a weekly medical clinic (the 'wet clinic') for street drinkers, which is a trap many of the homeless community in Bristol find themselves in.
- Provides appropriate work and support for volunteers - a great variety for all personalities and confidence levels, accessible and open to all skill levels. All church backgrounds get involved, providing an excellent example of church unity in action, as well as building a very strong reputation for showing genuine compassion through action in the secular community.
- Engages with young people and schools to increase awareness of homelessness issues – which it does effectively with the churches that regularly work with the Wild Goose as volunteers.
This project witnesses the free and lavish love of Jesus to the poorest members of society in Bristol, and to the wider community as a result, and has enabled broken and forgotten lives to be changed.
Jonnie Angel from the Wild Goose Cafe was on Inspirational Breakfast on 24th October and spoke with