HELEN BURTON: Linking up with the Matthew 25 Mission

Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001
Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001

Last week I finally got a chance to visit the Matthew 25 Mission in Seaside, Eastbourne.

I’ve written about this project several times over the last two years as it is an important centre of help in Eastbourne for many people. The project opens from 8am-4pm Monday to Friday and offers hot meals every day of the week to anyone who needs it. Ten per cent of their clients are street homeless, and can stay all day in safety, with access to toilets, hot food, company and support. They also have a well-used outreach service working with people in the community who need help. An important part of the project is signposting their clients to other services, and I am hoping to help with this next year as Eastbourne Volunteers gets up and running. I visited the project with my Mum, Daphne, and we were impressed to see volunteers there decorating stage sets for the Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society. Ninety per cent of volunteers at the project are clients or ex-clients of the project, and clearly a lot support is offered to get people back on their feet in all sorts of ways. Sometimes though, the project just offers a warm place to go, good food and company, tackling one of the biggest problems in any community, social isolation. The project relies on donations, so if you can help, perhaps even set up a regular donation by standing order, then please email the project through their website at www.matthew25mission.weebly.com

There are two events coming up in the next week to tell you about. The first is a ‘working lunch in the wild’ at Pevensey Apiary on Saturday October 29. If you want to come along and find out more about the apiary, keeping bees and the hard work that has gone on over the past year then meet us at Pevensey Recreation ground in the car park at 10am. We will be doing some work on site as there is always a bit of gardening (jungle clearance) to do and then we’ll be stopping for lunch so don’t forget to bring a picnic. You might decide you want to become a regular volunteer at the project or perhaps even attend one of the planned beekeeping workshops!

The second event is the Best of Eastbourne Tweetup on Wednesday the November 2 at the Cumberland Hotel, jointly hosted by Eastbourne Volunteers and Eastbourne Can. From 5pm it’s a chance for local businesses to network, at 6pm there are talks and at 6.30pm the focus starts to switch to community, with a chance for community groups, volunteers and local businesses to network. From 7pm-8pm the focus is on community and it will be a chance for local groups to meet up and share what they are doing. The Eastbourne Volunteers project isn’t properly off the ground yet but I will be there to talk to people about the project and find out about other people’s projects. Hope to see you there!

You can email me at Eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com