Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

On Monday 23rd April we held a donor tea at Bishopthorpe Palace for those who were able to join us and had been supporting Acts 435 in 2017. We asked one of our advocates to share with the group. She told us she was nervous and not used to speaking in public. You would never have known!

With great eloquence she shared her thanks to the donors for making Acts 435 possible and of the privilege it was for her to be able to serve in this way. She shared how clients share intimate details of their lives, hopes and fears with the advocates and that the brief request that donors read represents many hours of listening/talking/visiting them in their homes etc.

She explained how this leads to a greater understanding of their problems which cannot be told on the website. Usually complex issues, not a single one. Clients are often overwhelmed and need help to break the cycle. Unemployment is seen as a way of life and debt as normality. They fall into criminal ways and then are branded for life. She shared how their local police bring folk to their food bank rather than prosecute.

"Acts 435 gives hope to the hopeless", she said.

Ann then shared such a variety of examples just from one church using Acts 435. The first was a letter she had brought to read out, what turned out to be an 8 mile return thank you. The letter is below, but the text read:

Dear All,

A week ago I was offered help through Acts 435 towards my path of regaining employment. This is a simple message to say thank you for making something possible which all government and private agencies and schemes have failed to be able to assist with.

In order to significantly increase my employment prospects I need to pass the UK driving tests, theory and practical. But the cost of taking these tests is beyond my means while I am unemployed.

Today I will walk 4 miles to deliver this letter to Ann, which I want to do so she has it by Monday. Then I will walk the same distance back. I cannot afford the bus fare. Yet this is a journey made from the heart to say thank you to you all for making a difference. God bless you.

Ann shared four other stories:

  • A lady over the allowance to get benefits (small pension from coal board), debt, poor housing, generally unkempt. Acts provided her with food and small household equipment, put in touch with Durham Christian Partnership for debt counselling. 3 months on arrived clean and tidy, 6 months on got a job. Repaired car and 2 years on got a new and better job . Now too busy to come and see us. Life completely turned around. Just needed to be lifted out of a life with no hope. Acts gave her the step up to get started and importantly to keep with her through it.
  • Bed for little girl as social services were putting pressure on mother re; state of house. Working with her social worker to help situation. Mum said thank you but donors don’t see the joy of the little 5 year old who bounced around the bed because there was enough money to buy her a Frozen princess duvet cover. She was so thrilled to have her own princess cover.
  • Grandmother who saved her grandson from going into care by requesting a shed to give him his own space for homework/hobbies/music to supplement his space in their little bungalow. Fantastic to be able to meet unusual individual requests that others cannot.
  • 12 year old boy on school educational trip to France. He worked his socks off in the YMCA and sports club. Teachers put in £100 for him, mum did what she could, school kept the place open for him to raise the money. Donors provided the last £100 for him in time for him to go.

"Thank you for making it possible for them, and thank you for enabling us as advocates for Acts 435" she said.

We say "Thank you SO much for taking up the invitation to be advocates and for your love and care for local people and for providing donors with an opportunity to give and make a real difference. We are so grateful to Ann and the team of advocates at her church, and to advocates all across the country who are reaching out to those in crisis and stepping in to make a difference."

Letter from recipient
The 8 Mile Return Walk
Ann and fellow advocate Sara
Ann and fellow advocate Sara