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

More information is available on our website.

To find out more, contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com or for further details, contact homelessmeals@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

Children and Family Centre

Like to befriend isolated families in the local area? 

 

The Need:
Westminster is one of the most unequal boroughs in London. It has the third highest pay disparity between the top 20% and bottom 20% and the third highest proportion of out of work benefits claimants. Church Street – just a short 10 minute walk from St Mary’s church – was recorded as having the highest proportion of child poverty in the UK in 2013 (50%).

A Response:
A local children and family centre, The Portman Early Childhood Centre, supports young children and their families in the Church Street area of Westminster provides education, care and family support services to make sure that young children have the best possible start in life.

What you can do:

1. Befriending

You could befriend families in the local area by visiting their homes once or twice a month. Co-ordination, training and mentoring of volunteers is led by Venesha Patel at the centre.
Location: Portman Early Childhood Centre, 12-18 Salisbury St, NW8 8DE

2. Practical Help

The children and family centre often have jobs that need doing to help maintain and improve the building and environment for children and families (for families in the local area). Would you be willing to help out every once in a while?
Location: Portman Early Childhood Centre, 12-18 Salisbury St, NW8 8DE

If you’d like to find out more, take a look at the Portman Early Childhood Centre’s website.

If you are interested in volunteering to provide vital support for vulnerable families please 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 demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

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 the Westminster area. 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. The CAP Centre is open Monday – Wednesday from 10 am – 5 pm.

Location: Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6BS

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

If you are interested in volunteering please contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

Westminster Street Pastors

Like to help people stay safe on the streets of Central London?

 

The Need:
A night out celebrating, drinking and dancing with friends in London’s 337 night clubs and 2143 bars is great fun. Yet, sometimes it can end up not quite how we hoped leaving people vulnerable and in need of care.  

A Response:
Every first and third Friday of the month Westminster Street Pastors patrol the central London area supporting those who need it. The time is usually split evenly between supporting homeless people and the general public as well as young people coming from clubs.

What you can do:
You can go out on a patrol as an observer (before embarking on any further training) to get a feel for the hours, the team and the role.
Location: Soho, meet at All Souls Langham Place, W1B 3DA  

To find out more look at the Westminster Street Pastor’s website.

If you’re interested in keeping people safe on the streets, contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

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

Sadly, St Mary’s School has the highest recorded pollution levels of any school in London. They’re collecting plants to help fight pollution as part of their Clean Air Project. If you want to help, buy a plant to give to the school – you can find a list of plants that are particularly good at absorbing toxins and pollutants here. These plants can be bought from most supermarket stores as well as online and from Garden Nursery’s.

2. Practical Help

The children and family centre often have jobs that need doing to help maintain and improve the building and environment for children and families (for families in the local area). Would you be willing to help out every once in a while?
Location: Portman Early Childhood Centre, 12-18 Salisbury St, NW8 8DE

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

Malawi

Like to get behind two charitable businesses and take their visions to new heights?

 

Tristram and Liz are friends of St Mary’s. They used to be members of our church but have since moved to Malawi to pursue two charitable businesses.

The Need:
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Women in refugee camps, displaced by conflict and experiencing physical and emotional trauma, live off little or no income.

A Response:

Amayi

Amayi is a social enterprise creating income for mothers in a refugee camp. By harnessing traditional skills in knitting and crochet they produce accessories using luxury alpaca yarn.
To find out find out more, why not look at Amayi’s website.

What you can do:
You can help Amayi by giving your support from right here in the UK.
Do you have operations or web development experience?
Could you give brand marketing advice, help expand a web shop in the UK, or produce a professional product catalogue for buyers?
For more information, download this .pdf document here.

If you are interested in developing the business potential of Amayi, or would like to find out more information, please contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

 

ROL, Rhythm of Life

ROL exists to support and facilitate the growth of the creative industries in Malawi and to use music and the arts to engage, educate, and empower vulnerable individuals, disadvantaged communities and developing nations.

What you can do:
You can offer your support – from here in the UK – to develop the ROL enterprise.
Do you have experience in media and web development?
Could you give operations support or business advice?
Are you a creative (in music, dance, theatre, film, production) that could help ROL develop potential charitable and commercial opportunities in Malawi?
For more information, download this .pdf document here.

If you are interested in developing the business potential of ROL, or would like to find out more information, contact demonstrate@stmaryslondon.com

Uganda
More details coming soon…

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