A message from Anita McCallum – SMART CJS Chief Executive Officer…
Despite COVID-19, we are trying to do what we would usually do in the year to create as much of a sense of normality. And normally at this time of year we release our Impact Report. It’s important that we do play back to our supporters, staff and commissioners exactly what we have achieved over the last 12 months – and it’s awesome! I commend it to you.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN 2019
As well as directly helping nearly 2000 people over all our services, delivering over 19,000 interventions, we also set up two new hubs and also recruited two new Trustees to SMART CJS. We continue to engage with and support complex individuals who have stories to tell.
Can I draw your attention to Lauren’s Story (Page 10) and Jo’s Story (Page 19)?
Lauren moved quickly from witnessing the tragic murder of a partner to homelessness and then, unsurprisingly, developed a serious mental health condition. With our staff’s help and patience, after putting her in touch with other partners in the community like adult mental health services and housing – I am pleased to report that she is one of the lucky ones. She has now turned her life around positively with a new optimism, her health restored and a flat in Bedford.
It’s very common that those we help have experienced traumatic life events and this can be the root cause of addiction and/or mental health problems. This is also the case for Jo, the victim of abuse from parents in childhood and then similar situations in her adult relationships. It is inspiring that she has emerged from addiction and PTSD and now training as a therapist to help others.
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR STAFF, VOLUNTEERS, SUPPORTERS, COMMISSIONERS & TRUSTEES
I am amazed that staff use time off to do things for SMART – like collect a bulk food donation or volunteers take clients to hospital or optician appointments so that core staff can run the main service. I am in awe of our people that will work a night shift (from a different base, miles away) so that we can keep services open. I am also in wonder of fundraisers that will put themselves through personal discomfort and challenge (e.g. by climbing Kilimanjaro or having Christmas lights up for many months) to ensure we receive injections of much-needed money.
We have our commissioners from local authorities who work as supportive partners (and valued critical friends). They enable us to deliver and continually improve, the services in Bedford, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Wokingham. Without this mix of formal funding and the goodwill of staff, Trustees and supporters raising voluntary income – we could not deliver what we do. Thank you.
We’ll look to consolidate and build on our rough sleeper services in the areas we currently operate in. The novel Corona Virus that appeared in early January 2020 will have a big impact on our future plans. It will mean our support and expertise will be very much in demand as people are adversely affected by its impact – and we will be there for them.
We still need your help with the EMERGENCY APPEAL. Please give generously and pass the appeal email on to your friends or family who may want to help. Many thanks for your kindness and on-going support. I will, of course, continue to update you.
Wishing you and yours a safe, fulfilling and peaceful road ahead,
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