Demonstrate

Demonstrate is a volunteering network linking you to organisations and social action projects to get involved with.
We’ll connect you up and after that you take it from there to work out what works best for you!

So, what could you get involved with?

St Mary's Homeless Meal

Like to support those experiencing homelessness?

 

The Need:
8,000 people sleep rough on the streets of London every year. Most don’t want to be homeless and have not chosen to be. They’ve found themselves sleeping on the streets because of personal and family crises that have left them with nowhere else to go.

A Response:
With support, people can leave homelessness behind. There are amazing projects all over London working with local organisations to support homeless people get off the streets, into housing and find work.

St Mary’s hosts a monthly meal for rough sleepers and others from vulnerable housing situations. We provide a safe and friendly environment to share conversation and build meaningful relationships.

What you can do:
You could help set up, prepare and serve food, and spend time chatting to our guests. The meals happen on a Saturday evening once a month.
Location: St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, W1H 1PQ

To find out more contact homelessmeals@stmaryslondon.com

Alternatively, if you would like to support the meals but can’t volunteer on Saturday evenings, you could join the prayer team who commit to praying for the St Mary’s homeless meals. Please email demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

Reading at St Mary's School

Like to help children’s learning in a local primary school?

 

The Need:
London is an ever diversifying city with a vibrant mixture of nationalities, ethnicities and cultural expressions. This means, however, over 300 languages are currently spoken in London schools creating challenges for teaching staff and young people’s education.

A Response:
You could assist children with their reading for a couple hours each week at St Mary’s Bryanston Square Primary School. Sitting down one to one with a child and hearing them read can make a significant difference to their overall learning.

What you can do:
You would meet the same child on a regular basis and listen to them read. Male volunteers and those with foreign language skills are particularly needed. The length and frequency of the commitment can be negotiated to suit you and the school, but it would be within school hours (9am – 3.15pm).
Location: St Mary’s Primary School, Enford Street, W1H 1DL

To find out more about St Mary’s Primary School, have a look at their website.

If you are interested in supporting children to read, contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

Westminster Foodbank

Like to give your support to a Foodbank?

 

The Need:
13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK, with individuals going hungry every day for a range of reasons that vary from benefit delays to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income.

A Response:
The Trussell Trust has a 400-strong network of foodbanks providing a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. One of these is based near Victoria station.

What you can do:
You could stack shelves in the store room, or support clients by being a friendly face at the drop-ins on Monday (2 – 4 pm) and Thursday (11 am – 1 pm).
Location: Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6BS

To find out more about the Trussell Trust look at their website.

If you are interested in volunteering with Westminster Foodbank, contact the Foodbank Manager, Heather Neufville: foodbank@westminsterchapel.org.uk

Westminster CAP Centre (Christians Against Poverty)

Like to join a small team giving support to people dealing with worries of debt?

 

The Need:
The burden of debt is a painful reality for many people causing stress, anxiety and uncertainty. The all-consuming nature of financial difficulties in many cases seems impossible to escape and it can be difficult to know who to trust to find a way out.

 A Response:
CAP, or Christians Against Poverty, seeks to release people in the UK from a life sentence of debt, poverty and their causes. Their friendly team give a listening ear in the privacy of client’s own home and provide a real solution to their debts. They’ve helped thousands since they started in 1996 and offer a professional service through 306 CAP Debt Centres.

What you can do:
You would become a befriender in order to support families in London. CAP’s debt counsellors negotiate the ins and outs of their client’s finances so you don’t need to worry about being an expert! You just need to be a listening ear and a supportive friend.

Location: To find out more about CAP and what they do, why not look at their website.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact info@capuk.org

Lend a Helping Hand

Like to help with gardening, manual labour, painting and more?

 

The Need:
It’s difficult to keep on top of all that needs doing. All those practical things like painting, cleaning and gardening that you know need doing but haven’t the time or resources to actually do. Do you like practical work and would you like to help families in the local area?

What you can do:

1. Gardening at St Mary’s Primary School

Are you a green fingered soul eager to get your hands dirty? The local school would love help with their greenhouse, small gardens, window boxes, etc. for the kids to enjoy.
Location: St Mary’s Primary School, Enford Street, W1H 1DL

If you are interested in lending a hand to do some practical work, please contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

Trafficking Safe House

Like to support the work of a Safe House?

 

The Need:
The number of potential slaves being trafficked into Britain has risen by 245% over the last five years. Police and other authorities identified 3,266 people in 2015 thought to have been the victims of modern slavery compared with 946 in 2011. However, The Home Office currently estimates there are between 13,000 – 15,000 people currently residing in slave like conditions in the UK.

A Response:
Organisations throughout London give life-changing support for women who have escaped the trauma of trafficking. Caritas Bakhita House provide a home, safety and advice allowing them to begin the recovery process.

What you can do:
There are a number of ways to support these projects from mentoring to hosting activity nights.

To find out more about Caritas Bakhita House look at their website.

If you’d like to find out more or are interested in volunteering at a Safe House, contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

Doorstep Library

Visiting families every week, Doorstep Library volunteers turn up on the doorstep with rucksacks full of stories. Operating in some of the most disadvantaged areas of London, volunteers share their love of reading with children under the age of 11, with the belief that words have the power to take children places, not just in their imagination but in their lives.

Locations:

Doorstep currently work in 3 London boroughs – Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth and Westminster including a project close to St Mary’s on the Lisson Grove estate

What you can do:

You can either volunteer weekly (one evening a week, 4.30pm – 7.3pm) or be a step in volunteer and take the place of a regular team member when they are on holiday etc. and can’t visit a family on a particular week.

Doorstep Library provide all their volunteers with training. Volunteers are subject to a DBS check.

For more general info and to enquire about volunteering please visit www.doorsteplibrary.org.uk/volunteer

Uganda
Each year in April there is a trip to Kiwoko, Uganda.

The team visit Kiwoko hospital and team up with their mission team visiting schools and orphanages and running a Third Person conference – teaching about ministry in the power of the Spirit and praying for healing.

If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch with Kirstine (kirstine@stmaryslondon.com).

Demonstrating God’s love is a vital part of who we are
and what we do at St Mary’s. Alex

I started as a volunteer at St Mary’s homeless meals 6 years ago knowing very little about homelessness and its impact on peoples’ lives. Though their stories are heart-breaking I love the community spirit our guests and volunteers bring. I have witnessed transition from homelessness which comes when they’re shown love and acceptance. It is deeply gratifying serving our homeless and vulnerably housed guests and it makes me appreciate having a place to call home.  Stephanie

Running a “girls’ night in” at a trafficking safe-house for women was a great opportunity to offer them some normality and fun. It was really encouraging to see that they enjoyed our company, and how the issues God puts on our hearts can develop into positive experiences for others, and learning opportunities for us.

Rachel