Improving the health and well-being
of people living in East Yorkshire
and Northern Lincolnshire
Bodmin Road Church – awarded a grant of £22,464 by the Trustees to help tackle loneliness. Bransholme is a large council estate in Hull with a population of about 24,000 people. It comprises two wards, which currently rank 37th and 38th poorest out of 7529 wards on the national index of social deprivation. While the statistics measure education and skills, health, employment and crime, what is encountered on the ground are all the attendant issues of family breakdown, poor mental health, loneliness, loss of hope and aspiration, debt and social isolation, parenting problems, anxiety and emotional breakdown. Equally, there are many wonderful and tenacious people on the estate. An ex-alcoholic is volunteering regularly in one of the community cafés and offering significant care and support to many of the elderly people who come in. Lives do turn around. Bodmin Road church was built in 1968 as the estate was being built.
Since 1997 the church has delivered a wide range of grant-funded social action projects, employing between 4 and 8 staff at any one time. There are currently about 300 people every week through our doors midweek across the two Bransholme sites, accessing our various support services and programmes. The aim is to be a force for good and a place of welcome and hope in the local community, meeting the needs of the whole person through a range of services and programmes which are open to all, regardless of faith. MP, Diana Johnson, says, “Bodmin Road Church makes a superb contribution to life in one of the country’s most deprived communities.” Bishop of Hull, Alison White, writes, “We need places of hope and kindness like Bodmin Road Church.”.
The Café work is at the core, but the Cafés are not like a high street Costa! On some days they more resemble a therapeutic day centre catering for a very wide range of needs – the elderly, the lonely, people with learning difficulties and people with mental health problems. In some cases, it is the only organisation connecting with some of the most “hard-to-reach” and needy individuals in the city who face multiple health and social issues. An open “family” atmosphere is fostered and those who visit speak of a strong sense of belonging. Loneliness is a massive issue here and many people desperately need someone to listen and help them engage with others in a meaningful way. Adding a Support Worker to the team will really help impact those issues in a much more effective way. The Café work is strongly health related; tackling general well-being, loneliness and mental health issues as well as providing a warm place, a healthy meal plus advice and occasional courses on healthy eating.