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Stories to Inspire

Working with Vine Trust in IKEA PDF Print E-mail

David Pike at Ikea

David Pike – at IKEA

How a Christian Charity works to equip young people for life

Vine Social Enterprises is the social trading arm of The Vine Trust Group, a Christian charity set up by a group of churches in Walsall in 1989. Based at the former Vine Inn in the town, a pub which was once a focus for drugs and prostitution, it seeks to ‘work with hard to reach young people, to fully equip them for life, so that together we will transform our communities’. The Vine Trust Group also operates an independent school and youth support company offering education for excluded pupils and advice and guidance to local young people. The focus of all activities within the Group is hard to reach/employ young people.

In 2008, Vine Social Enterprises secured a contract with IKEA Wales to deliver a core service function, managing customer shopping tools. This was with the long term vision of extending its activities into Wales, by establishing a similar hub for youth support services in Cardiff. The contract, named ‘Project390’ is delivered by mostly long-term unemployed young people from the Cardiff and Vale area. A team of four supervisors provide mentoring, training, support, & advice to each young person, outliving a Christian witness throughout the engagement.

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Everyone Belongs at Ebenezer Church, Pengam PDF Print E-mail

"Sadly the impression that many people have of the church is that it’s nothing to do with them. They think it’s for a certain type of person and they’re not that type. The reason this is so sad is that Jesus went out of his way to include everyone, in fact it cost him his life."

This is a quotation from the web-site of Ebenezer Church, Pengam, a church which runs the "Everyone Belongs Project" to show that church is to do with everyone.

Everyone Belongs

The Everyone Belongs Project aims to follow the example of Jesus and offer a real sense of belonging to everyone. Appreciating the unique contribution that each and every person can make, the Church seeks to go beyond the idea of inclusion that just invites everyone, to create a community that involves everyone.

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Pioneering Newport Night Shelter PDF Print E-mail

Image of a man sleeping on a bench in Newport harbour"I was hungry and you gave me nothing to drink.  I was a stranger and you did not look after me.  I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

These haunting words of Jesus are the organizing principle of the Newport Night Shelter: when Christians see people in need, they are commanded to act.  Failure to help the "least of these" is failure to serve Christ.

It all started with another project: a bus outreach to the city's vulnerable, run by Teen Challenge Newport.  Volunteers for this coffee house on wheels saw another need: there was no emergency night shelter in the Newport area.  Many of the homeless were forced to sleep exposed to the elements.  In the winter months, this was not only uncomfortable but also dangerous. 

In 2009, a small group of volunteers resolved to address this problem.  Despite having no previous experience of running a night shelter, they were motivated to act.  As Stuart Johnson, one of the project's coordinators, explained: "It was not, 'Can we do this?'  It was, 'We are doing this.'  There was no doubt in our minds; God had given us the vision."

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Gweini: Cynghrair Efengylaidd Cymru yn gweithio gyda mudiadau Cristnogol eraill yng Nghymru.
Mae’r Cyngrhair Efengylaidd yn gwmni cyfyngedig drwy warant, wedi ei gofrestru yng Nghymru a Lloegr, rhif 123448 Elusen Gofrestredig Rhif 212325
Gweini: Evangelical Alliance Wales working with other Christian agencies in the nation.
Evangelical Alliance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No 123448 Registered Charity No 212325