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Meeting Community Organisations Via Aviva Community Fund

Advertisement Feature in association with the Aviva Community Fund

You may know that this year I have partnered up with Aviva to promote their amazing community fund. The fund is now open, so you can vote for a community group close to your heart – but be quick, you only have until 12 noon tomorrow to cast your votes. Visit https://at.aviva.uk/GetVoting; your vote could be the winning one!

I was asked by them to visit one of the community projects that they have helped previously. This would enable me to see just how the community fund helped them. I was sent to House Of Bread in Stafford which is a charity that helps homeless and vulnerable people in their local area.

House of Bread, Stafford was set up by Will in 2010 with the intention to provide a hot meal and company to homeless people once a week. The charity initially utilised local churches for a venue to hold the meetings. Fast forward eight years and now with two other full-time staff and over 200 volunteers, House of Bread has a lease on a cafe close to the town centre as well as an industrial storage unit. They provide hot food on Wednesdays and Thursdays with a view to opening more days when possible.

As well as hot food and drinks the friends of House of bread use their facilities. A hot shower and the opportunity to wash your clothes are just some of the small things that make a world of difference to the vulnerable people supported by House of Bread.

Bread church is held at the cafe on a Friday. It’s a fantastic idea, the aim is to allow everyone the opportunity to bake two loaves of bread – one for themselves and the other to give to someone else. Many homeless people have nothing but the clothes that they wear, so it is impossible for them to get the opportunity to be generous and actually give something away. By enabling them to bake two loaves, it allows them to be generous and experience the emotions that that creates.

I visited on a Friday morning to experience Bread church for myself. The whole atmosphere was extremely relaxed and it was clear to see just how valued both the bread making and the organisation were and appreciated by the friends that were present.

House of Bread not only provides services for the homeless. House of Bread has strong Christian roots, but it does not feel like a church lead group, in fact, they welcome people of all faiths. They help anybody in need and support people in a variety of circumstances. From support with housing, education and health care, to providing 70 food bags per week or access to a caseworker. House of Bread truly does help anyone that is in need of assistance.

It is clear to see just how much time and dedication Will and his son Jack, along with the rest of the team, have invested into House of Bread. The charity relies completely on donations to facilitate its day to day operations. Government funding is unreliable and difficult to obtain, which is upsetting seeing as the amount of good that this charity does for the local community. The Aviva Community Fund money enabled House of Bread to purchase new cooking equipment for the bread church. This extra equipment helped more friends to participate in bread church each week and increases engagement.

I was overwhelmed at the amount of work that goes into the organisation of House of Bread and also at the effect that it has on the most vulnerable people in our community. Many of the homeless people helped daily here are unwelcome visiting high street coffee shops and cafes. House of Bread is providing an invaluable service to the members of our community that need help the most.

A huge thank you to Will, Jack and everyone at House of Bread for making me feel so very welcome.

House of Bread have hugely benefitted from their funding, like so many other groups who submitted entries to the Aviva Community Fund. Between £1,000 up to £25,000 funding is available across three categories, environment, health and wellbeing and skills for life. The Aviva Community Fund also provides “more than money” support for groups, enabling them to do their own publicity and gain interest in their cause.

There is still time to vote in the Aviva Community Fund 2018 and make a difference to a group in your community. Cast your votes today before voting closes on 20th November at https://at.aviva.uk/GetVoting

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25 Comments

  1. Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    November 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I’m really pleased I read this post. What an wonderful insight. Love the idea behind Bread Friday. Food for thought and food to eat. Thank you. #MMBC

  2. Michelle Kellogg

    November 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This is a great place to give back the way they do. We have a few places here that give hot meals to the homeless and offer free laundry services. They have a few different places set up in different towns. They also have clothes donations that people can rummage through for free as well as toys and books. They get lots of toys donations this time of year. What a great community project to be a part of!

  3. Kim Carberry

    November 20, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    What a fantastic place to visit. It sounds like a wonderful charity which helps a lot of people.

  4. Stephanie

    November 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    What a lovely community project, it’s so important to keep these types of places up and running. So many people rely on them

  5. Jay Joy

    November 21, 2018 at 2:37 am

    I love this so much! I love the idea of a Bread church! My son’s middle name is Ma’oe Moui, meaning “bread of life” in Tongan. It reminds me of what you guys are doing for all these people. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Adriana

    November 21, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Such a beautiful way for the community to come together

  7. Lyosha

    November 21, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Sounds like day to remember! The experience must have been very interesting, I would love to visit this house of bread myself
    Lyosha recently posted…Estet Fashion Week, openingMy Profile

  8. Elizabeth O

    November 21, 2018 at 10:06 am

    What a great place and organization the help others with a full of heart and joy to give anything they have. Keep it up and more power to you guys.

  9. Ashley N Rice

    November 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    This sounds like an amazing organization!! I love what they are doing! Wow! <3

  10. Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels

    November 21, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    This is such a fantastic place – I am not sure if we have anything similar where I live, but I am going to have a look. Kaz

  11. Luci

    November 21, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    House of Bread sounds like an amazing organization and they definitely deserve that extra funding. But probably so do the other organizations competing. But in this case I was especially moved (actually got choked up) when reading about the Bread Friday. To give people who have near nothing the opportunity to make something for someone else – and a food item at that. Wow! Such a wonderful concept and well described by you!
    Thank you for opening my eyes to something new!
    xx Luci

  12. Lakshmi

    November 22, 2018 at 12:00 am

    This is such a great way to give back to the society. There is no better way to feel a fulfilled life.

  13. Catherine Santiago Jose

    November 22, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Wow, what a wonderful act of kindness to do to other people and I am glad that their are helping people even if its not on the same faith. Hope these people blessed more and be success in every good desires that they have.

  14. Khushboo Motihar

    November 22, 2018 at 2:17 am

    House of Bread, Stafford are doing incredible job. It is heartening to know that along with providing warm meals, they also provide other facilities to their beneficiaries. This is an excellent initiative.

  15. Christa

    November 22, 2018 at 3:01 am

    It’s so important I highlight all of he wonderful organizations that work so hard to help those who need it. House of Bread sounds like an incredible group wothba caring staff.

  16. Geraline Batarra

    November 22, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Such a great community project, it only proves that with the helps of every hands we can make an act of kindness that will give a big impact to the individual.

  17. Maartje van Sandwijk

    November 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

    What a great place! I always try to donate as many things as possible because there’s always someone who can use it!

  18. Noor

    November 22, 2018 at 11:39 am

    What a great institution! House of Bread must continue until the future generations. It’s mission and goals are just amazing and must be acknowledged.

  19. Rosey

    November 22, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Relying on charity alone can be a challenge. Hurrah when it works out well!

  20. Rhea

    November 23, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    what a noble act to be involved with charities, I admire you for giving back to communities. Your advocacy promoting these organizations will help big time to others whose in need.

  21. Bree

    November 23, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I love that this community fund and that you support it!

  22. Becky Wilkinson

    November 24, 2018 at 9:14 am

    This is such a fantastic initiative. I voted earlier this month after seeing someones post on Facebook. I would love to find a community project for me and the kids to get involved in in 2019.

  23. Amanda

    December 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Sounds like a great organization! I’m looking for something like that near me to take my kids to volunteer.

  24. Amanda Rosson

    December 6, 2018 at 6:43 am

    What a wonderful place and organization! It must be so rewarding to be involved in such a lovely community project that gives back so much <3

  25. Iris Tilley

    January 22, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Love it when a community pulls together children as well as adults

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