People at St Michael & All Angels devote considerable time and energy to charitable work, for a range of good causes, at home and overseas.
Each year we support three charities in particular. In 2018, these are:
– The Upper Room, which is a front-line charity based in Shepherd’s Bush, working with socially and economically disadvantaged people from some of the most deprived areas of London. They support people who are experiencing homelessness, providing them with food, clothing, toiletries and a safe and warm environment in the short-term, while helping them rebuild their lives in the long-term. See picture above: St Michael’s charities stall at Green Days weekend, Bedford Park Festival
– The Amber Trust, which brings music to blind and partially sighted children, and became our new charity in 2017. The Amber Trust is a small charity which supports blind and partially sighted children across the UK to develop their musical ability and discover the life-changing potential of music. See picture above. As well as fundraising, we have been developing musical links between the charity and the church in a way which is enriching us all.
– WaterHarvest – Our new international charity for 2018 (and until the end of 2020) is Water Harvest. Water Harvest works with rural communities in India to harvest the monsoon rains, enabling the poorest people to reap the benefits of safer and sustainable water. See picture below.
Read more about our three charities below.
The charities group co-ordinates our giving at St Michael’s through these regular events:
The Charities Quiz Supper in January; Lent Appeal; Christian Aid Week in May; the Bedford Park Festival in June (including the charities stall on Green Days); and our Christmas Charity Appeal, with carol-singing at Turnham Green tube station. We get great support for our charities from local businesses, who sponsor the Bedford Park Festival and provide matched-funding, and in particular the Chiswick branch of Barclays Bank and Bown Design & Build, who organise an annual concert for our charities in November. We also support charities through the Chiswick Book Festival in September and through our Cards for Good Causes stall in the run-up to Christmas.
If you would like to find out more about how get involved, please contact John Clark via the Parish Office.
The Upper Room
Registered Charity No. 1004354
The Upper Room is a local charity based in W12 and working with the homeless, with economic migrants and with ex-offenders. It aims to give them the self confidence and support they need to become economically independent.
At the heart of the Upper Room is its meal service which provides nutritious evening meals five days a week. Free toiletries, bedding and clothing are also offered when available. Additionally help is on hand for onward referrals for health, housing and benefits advice.
In addition to the meal service, the Upper Room has two other projects. UR4Driving offers ex-offenders the chance to obtain a driving licence, making it easier to get work in the distribution industry, and reducing the risk of re-offending. To qualify for this potential participants must commit to 80 hours of voluntary work, giving them experience of helping others while being helped themselves.
The homeless and unemployed, especially those from Central and Eastern Europe, can join a multilingual and personalised programme of support – UR4Jobs – to help them with entry level skills training and access to work.
The Amber Trust
Registered Charity No. 1050503
The Amber Trust was founded in 1995 to help blind and partially sighted children across the UK, who have a talent or love for music. We believe that visual impairment and other disabilities should not prevent children and young people accessing appropriate musical opportunities.
Many families in the UK who care for one of the 25,000 children with little or no sight, live in relative poverty and cannot afford to give them the musical experiences that can transform their lives. The Amber Trust provides grants to these children for music lessons, music therapy, instruments, equipment and concert tickets.
For some children, learning to play an instrument or to sing can add immeasurably to their lives. For others, many of whom have severe learning difficulties, music therapy may offer a lifeline. With the right encouragement, these children can develop their talents to remarkable ends, breaking down barriers, promoting social inclusion and helping to fulfil their potential as individuals and musicians.
The Amber Trust works with other charities to raise awareness of the special value of music for these visually impaired children. We fund research into the impact of music and develop materials to help support the musical development of children. Through research, we know that music has the power to influence change in so many aspects of a child’s life: change that can last a lifetime.
Registered Charity No. 1127564
WaterHarvest (formerly known as Wells for India) is a small charity, based in Winchester, working in remote and arid villages of India, where people are still struggling to access clean water. Their mission is to work with rural communities to harvest the monsoon rains, enabling the poorest people to reap the benefits of safer and sustainable water. The St Michael’s project for the next three years is to fund the building of underground ‘taankas’ to harvest the monsoon rains for families in the state of Rajasthan. Follow this link to read WaterHarvest’s latest annual review: https://www.water-harvest.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/waterharvest-issue-66-2018-web.pdf
Recent news about our charities
New St Michael’s charity for 2018: WaterHarvest
People at St Michael & All Angels devote considerable time and energy to charitable work, for a range of good causes, at home and overseas. Each year we support three charities in particular. Our new international charity for 2018 (and until the end of 2020) is WaterHarvest, in place of Msaada which we have supported for the past three years.
John Clark, the chair of our charities group, writes:
“Every year we review one of our three St Michael’s charities and we are pleased to announce that our new international charity starting this year will be WaterHarvest, which some of you may know by its previous name ‘Wells for India’. WaterHarvestis a small charity working in the remote and arid villages of rural India, where communities are stillstruggling to survive without running water. Our project for the next three years will be to install ‘taankas’ to harvest the monsoon rains for the poorest of the poor in the state of Rajasthan. More information will appear on the charities notice board in the church over the coming weeks.”
Lent Appeal – Creating jobs for young people in Ghana
Christian Aid’s Community Partnership – Creating jobs for young people in Ghana
The SMAAA Lent Appeal for 2018 and 2019 will support young people in Ghana, helping them gain employment opportunities –particularly remembering those with disabilities and suffering from discrimination. More than one fifth of the population in Ghana have disabilities.
In Ghana, almost half of the young people are unemployed and, of those looking for jobs each year, only about 2% are employed in the formal sector. The Christian Aid Project will be working with CA’s Community Partners in Ghana creating new enterprises – such as sustainable fish farms in the coastal areas – and enabling more young people to be trained in paid jobs. And there is more to this project – with support for women in work, diversification in existing business, and starting-up new businesses including education in finance, marketing and understanding about taxes etc.