The Drop-in is feeling increasingly like pre-Covid times with the resumption of two-course hot lunches for service users. We are now open from 10.30am to 2.30pm, and it’s lovely to see more of our volunteers returning to work in the kitchen. Service user numbers are increasing steadily – on some days more than 40 – including some rough-sleepers new to us.
All our staff members remain very busy helping individuals with support and advice on a variety of issues such as accommodation, health-related referrals and Universal Credit claims.
The removal of the £20 uplift in Universal Credit in October has further affected people’s ability to provide for themselves, and is likely to increase the need for the Drop-in to provide food and other basic essentials.
An outreach worker from the Merton Drug & Alcohol Service (WDP) is now coming to the Drop-in on Wednesdays. She is seeing people already involved with their service, and we can refer new people directly to her.
The Covid-19 team from Merton Council has also been visiting regularly to carry out lateral flow tests.
Andy Fairbairn, our Drop-in Manager, has decided to retire next Spring, after many years of outstanding service. Recruitment of Andy’s successor is underway, and details can be found at mertonfaithinaction.org/manager-vacancy
We’re delighted to report that FiA is being supported by two local fund-raising initiatives:
- Dons Local Action Group’s Big Sleep Out at AFC Wimbledon’s new Plough Lane Stadium on 27 November, has chosen us as their Merton-based homeless charity, alongside charities in Kingston and Wandsworth.
- South Western Railway’s Shoebox Appeal is again running at Wimbledon Station from 6th to 11th December. Commuters are being asked to give a small box of practical gifts for a homeless person, and all boxes will be delivered to us before Christmas.
We’re really grateful to both organisations for their support.
Faith in Action Annual General Meeting
Our 2022 AGM will be held on Monday 7 February at 6pm. This will again be held online via Zoom. More details, including how to register, will be emailed to you early in the New Year.