Our congregation are strong supporters of The Olive Branch, indeed some are volunteers and two are Trustees. The food donations that our congregation give each week, currently using the drop-off bins around the parish, play a vitally important role in feeding the hungry in our city. Many also give financially.
The Olive Branch is a local Christian charity with a mission to support those suffering distress caused by addiction, broken family relationships, poverty and homelessness, and to enable individuals and families to resolve and alleviate their difficulties.
It is the belief in the value of each person and the desire to follow Jesus that motivates the staff and volunteers to serve those in our community who need help. It is also this belief that places hospitality and welcome at the heart of The Olive Branch. Many of the guests have been treated badly by life and the world around them, and so time is taken to show them they are valued; to sit with them, to listen to them and serve them.
In pre-Covid times The Olive Branch provided hospitality and prayer, signposting to other organisations who can help, phone and computer use for guests and a referral based food bank
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic The Olive Branch is unfortunately unable to operate a face-to-face drop-in services for guests. This means a concentration of efforts on the provision of emergency food and ACTS 435 funding. Referral numbers more than doubled during the first lockdown and during the busiest month nearly 300 people we being fed each week.
This picture shows which items are needed by the food bank in March: