Malvern Mini MAGGS

There was an encouraging turn-out to the open morning in December to view the premises/facilities that will be available; meet some of the personnel who will be working there or simply to 'find out more'.  The centre is due to open in February at the Salvation Army premises, initially for twelve months.  The idea was instigated by the ‘Malvern Cares Group’ set up following the deaths of two rough sleepers in Malvern and is supported by Churches Together in Malvern.  It will run under the auspices of Worcester Maggs who are guiding and leading the project.

The main principle is to ‘keep people alive’ (most people living on the streets die whilst in their forties) but other aims include self-esteem and the confidence of the Service Users so that eventually they will feel able to access services which are available but meanwhile such services as a experienced nurse; podiatrist; debt adviser and so on will be provided at Mini Maggs as required.

There will be two part-time outreach workers, one of whom we met at the open morning and the second will be in post by the time you read this.  The Centre will be open on Tuesday and Fridays from 8.00 am until 2.00 pm and will provide a cooked breakfast and lunch.  Service Users will be able to use a shower, washing machine and drier at the site. A clothing/sleeping bag exchange will be co-ordinated with Worcester because of storage restrictions. Everyone has the right to feel accepted, to look and feel good about themselves and these facilities will help towards this.

Obviously, the project will depend upon volunteers not only to help with the cooking and serving food but in many other ways e.g. helping someone to read; fill in a form; compile a CV; play a game; lead an art project or simply to listen.  Whatever your talents, however much time you can give whether regular (Service Users can grow to trust someone they see regularly) or occasional when there is a demand for it they are needed. It will be useful to compile a list of those who can be called upon on an occasional basis or with a particular knowledge or skill.  During any activity it is important to 'listen' as in this way it may be possible to assess the real needs and problem of the Service Users which they may not feel comfortable in expressing in a more formal setting.

Full Volunteer Training will be given including Safeguarding issues; DBS checks; Food Hygiene and any others required.  If you feel you may be able to help or want to find out more contact the Volunteer Trainer/Coordinator Val Turner via the website or 01905 250271.

If you do become a Volunteer it is important that you do not feel discouraged if initially the take up is low or even nil, this is not unusual it takes time for the Service Users to be able to trust enough to attend.  Meanwhile it has to be staffed during the opening times so that potential users know that the service can be depended on and for them to get familiar with opening times.

Last but by no means least the project needs funding and your prayers and this will be ongoing.  

 Mo Croall