We are recruiting !
Would you like the opportunity to work with young people at our centre in the heart of Preston? We have opportunities available for the right people who are ready for a challenge and have a real commitment to young people. The work will be early evenings during the week with occasional weekends and trips away.
Youth Work Team Leader 25 hrs per week
Youth Worker 9 hours per week
If you are interested then please contact
Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form
The closing date for applications will be the 10th April
December 24th, 2013
Christmas with The Foxton Centre
The Foxton Centre’s Christmas Day is being sponsored by the Walton-le-Dale branch of supermarket giant Waitrose. On Wednesday, Waitrose’s team of Jayne, Dan and Hannah, presented Tim Keightley with a cheque for £1500 to pay for all the costs of running the Christmas Day Community Cafe including the food for the full Christmas Dinner, a chef for the day, presents and decorations and heating the building!
Tim Keightley said, ‘”we are really grateful for this very generous support from Waitrose because it will help us make Christmas Day as special as possible for those who come in to the Centre.”
Waitrose staff are also volunteering in the New Year by helping with some internal refurbishment and decoration of the hall and offices. (More of that in January.)
Tim Keightley added: “we are excited by the prospects of working with Waitrose in the future. They have also offered to advise us on our food growing project and this will be a great benefit to the volunteers involved in that work.”
December 20th, 2013
Mark Alexander appointed Foxton Centre trustee
Vincents’ Head of Commercial Law joins homeless charity board
Preston homeless charity The Foxton Centre has appointed Mark Alexander to the board of trustees. Mark, who heads the commercial department at Vincents Solicitors, will assist the charity with legal obligations and help raise its profile within the local business community.
The Foxton Centre is a Christian-based charity working not just with the city’s homeless, but with marginalised people across society. It also puts on youth groups and provides support to residents in the local Avenham community. Based in Knowsley Street, the charity has more than 70 staff, volunteers and trustees providing services for more than 450 clients
Mark Alexander said: “The Foxton Centre is helping to improve the lives of people right here in the city centre and I’ve seen first hand the positive impact it has. It can be a challenging environment but the dedication of the staff and volunteers is quite inspirational. From providing hot meals to getting people access to professional help, the project is incredibly impressive.
“It’s a local charity right on my doorstep and I wanted to get involved. The board didn’t have a legal expert so I was pleased to offer my help in that regard, and provide support in any way I can. I’ll also be spreading the word telling everyone I meet about the fantastic work they do.”
Tim Keightley, CEO at the Foxton Centre, said Mark would be a welcome addition to the team. He said: “The charity relies on the support of its volunteers and trustees who give their time and expertise for free, and we are delighted that Mark will bring his experience and enthusiasm to the board.
“We will certainly be making use of his professional knowledge to keep us up to date on our legal obligations and we’ll welcome his views on the general running of the organisation. Mark will be helping with funding applications and is keen to promote the charity within his network of professional contacts in the region which will hopefully see more people becoming aware of the work we do.”
The Foxton Centre has recently launched its Christmas appeal for donations. The Christmas Wish List includes winter clothes and underwear, men’s and women’s toiletries, and festive treats such as chocolate selection boxes which can be given out as gifts. People can also donate money to the charity’s on-going ‘Hungry’ campaign, to help purchase food and supplies throughout the year.
The centre will open a Community Cafe on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, serving hot meals and distributing donated clothes and toiletries. For more information or to make a donation go to www.thefoxtoncentre.co.uk
December 6th, 2013
The business of making a difference
Today I attended a meeting of my local ‘Shout’ Network. This is a group of local businesses that gets together every few weeks to promote their work and put people in touch with the business service they need. The person leading started the meeting by referring to Nelson Mandela who has just died. He said that while he is too young really to have known much about Mandela, he has been inspired by some of the things Mandela has said, or written, especially about the difference one person can make in improving the world.
Then he made the point that everyone could make a positive contribution to a better world and included business owners in that statement.
This may not be the message you and I expect to hear from a business leader or company owner. Surely they are all in it to make a profit and to increase their profit every year? Surely, improving the world comes far down their list of priorities? Well, maybe not!
Next week, I am attending an evening meeting organised by the Guardian newspaper. The topic is how businesses can solve society’s problems. I imagine that some of the discussion will involve people from charities like The Foxton Centre encouraging more business people to see their role in employing staff as making a contribution to employees’ human flourishing, not just as unit price calculations in the pursuit of financial gain.
Once that idea is given more prominence, maybe notions such as employing people on the Living Wage (rather than just the Minimum Wage) or ensuring employment terms and conditions are conducive to that flourishing can become the norm. Maybe businesses can partner more closely with organisations such as The Foxton Centre to tackle poverty and disadvantage in new and innovative ways. (Calm down Keightley.)
In my opinion, it’s in business leader’s interests to find ways of making that flourishing happen, because, “If you flourish, I flourish.”
I hope that you are in the business of making a difference.
November 22rd, 2013.
According to plan?
So today I travelled to London for an annual conference of charity leaders. Over 300 people were there from all over the country and from different sized charities. Does that sound dull, or dangerous?
The day consisted of what are called ‘key note’ speakers and workshops. Key note speakers set out to inspire the listener to a new opinion, or to action, or a new way of thinking. The best of the lot was a man named Matthew Taylor from the Royal Society for encouragement of the Arts (RSA). He was funny, interesting, provocative and inspirational.
His main message was about making sure charities deliver the best they can for the people they work with and for. He said that it is the charity leader’s (that’s me) job to make sure that all the charity’s resources are what he called ‘aligned’ behind achieving the charity’s aims. Matthew said if that stage is reached, the charity is doing well.
What he means, I think, is this. Are all those involved in running the Foxton; staff, students, volunteers and Trustees, and maybe even our ‘service users’ sharing a vision and pulling together in a shared way of working, thinking and being?
I think, we are pretty close to that at the Foxton.
But Matthew says whilst it’s pretty good to be able to say that, there is another stage. He says the next question for everyone involved to ask themselves and each other is: “Are you actually transforming the lives of the people you work for?” And a follow on question is this: “If The Foxton Centre did not exist, what difference would that make?”
So, dear reader; you tell me your answers to those questions…
Part of me wants to protest to Matthew; to say “It’s not as simple as that.”
The journey home is a good example. The plan was to catch the 7.30 from London and get home about 10.00pm. But here I am crawling through Birmingham (well, the train is crawling, not me, you understand) at 9.30 with little prospect of getting home before 11.30. (All say aaah). But that’s my point; the journey got blown off course because of a trackside fire at Tamworth.
And that’s what can happen to the people we work with. Life events, circumstances and yes, their own mistakes can mean that despite the best efforts of staff, students, volunteers and Trustees people’s lives aren’t transformed.
Would be good though if they were, wouldn’t it?
So, what can we all do to make that transformation come about more often for more people?
Dangerous, these conferences.
November 15th, 2013
Toes & fingers numb from the cold?
At least you have somewhere warm & dry to sleep tonight!
We have 3 easy ways to help those who don’t:
donate to our Hungry Campaign (either in person at Ravenous, Cafe Fresch or online via our website or at http://www.howdanmarketing.co.uk/charity-community/)
buy some items from our Christmas Wish List:
Buy a Brewing For Change Mug for £6 (either from The Foxton Centre or at Cafe Fresch if you want it filled with a complimentary tea or coffee!).
October 8th, 2013.
To Food Bank or Not to Food Bank
It won’t have escaped many people’s notice that food banks are being set up throughout the country. Food banks are collections of donated food that are distributed to individuals and families who are in desperate need of help to tide them over until the next pay day. More people are turning up at food banks apparently in such desperate need.
One concern is that food banks help create dependency. Rather than look for more work, or trying harder to budget successfully, people, the argument goes, take the easier course of a free handout. And if they play their cards right and there is more than one food bank in town, they can repeat this process on other days of the week.
However, most food banks have systems whereby they record who has taken up the service and only give food to those who are registered and/or referred by another agency and even then only one a week, or one a month. Most require proof of ID as well. This is not just to catch out those who might be abusing the system but is a way of making the donated food go as far as possible.
In my experience, the vast majority of those who do ask for food parcels appear embarrassed or even humiliated that they are in this situation and unable to provide for themselves and their families
To me, the best food banks are those that use the opportunity to connect with the ‘customer’ and to provide practical help about welfare entitlement, debt management, budgeting skills, job opportunities or volunteering or training schemes. Alongside the message of compassion goes the encouragement not to give up hope but to take opportunities to turn the situation around, as far as is possible.
So, rather than encouraging dependency, food banks can help motivate people to keep going when they are at their most desperate. It depends on how you use them.
Of course; it can be argued that Government Welfare Reform has created food banks and any fault for increased dependency lies at their door.
September 4th, 2013
Thanks to our fabulous volunteer Louise, we raised £200 from our raffle on the Foxton Family Fete! We also want to say a big thank you to the following businesses for donating awesome prizes:
Arty Cow Bladez Barbershop
For Goodness Cake Simply Gorgeous Hair & Beauty by Gemma
August 23rd, 2013
Looking for an easy way to help us? Why not buy a couple of raffle tickets today to help support The Foxton Centre & win any of the fantastic prizes donated so far; none of them worth less than a fiver! For each pound you send to email@example.com
For the price of a pint you could provide 3 meals for a homeless person living in Preston!
Walled Garden Bistro – £20 voucher
Bella Brow Bar – £22 voucher
53 Degrees – 2 x Gig tickets of your choice
Beautiful prints from Arty Cow
Barton Grange Garden Centre – £10 voucher
Yorkshire Tea Gift set
Jopson Music Academy – Free music lesson
Bladez barbershop – Hair Cut & Shave
For Goodness Cake – £25 voucher for 2 tier personalised cake
Hair & Beauty lounge – voucher
Simply Gorgeous hair & beauty by Gemma – 2 x cut & blow dries
Beauty by Michelle Delaney – £20 voucher
Preston Flowers – fresh bouquet
Lush Preston – Handmade goodies
Lakeside Superbowl – game voucher
Raffles Coffee house – £10 voucher
Ravenous – Lunch for 2
Fired 4 U – voucher
Rascals Party & Play Centre – Entry voucher
And a lovely fruit basket from Matt Wade Banana King!
We Need More Food!
We are starting to run low on our Food Parcel supplies again and are in need of ingredient type foods, such as:
-tinned meat (think meatballs, savoury mince, etc)
Thanks to all of the great response we had a few months ago for our food parcels we now have a great supply of tinned soup for all of the parcels!
Our Hungry Campaign is going brilliantly well. In the 1st ten days we collected £52 – enough for one meal a week for a homeless person for an entire year! Read about the campaign here.