Rita Ashman writes:
Every Wednesday morning, a small group of local church leaders meet for prayer in Filwood Hope Drop-in Centre. As we pray in the relative peace of one of Filwood’s meeting rooms, we are fully aware of how life is often far from peaceful for many of Filwood’s clients. Richard Pearce has managed the centre since its opening some eight years ago. Earlier this year, David Renshaw joined Richard as Assistant Manager.
Sadly, Richard’s part-time Administrator, Pauline Cannard, died in the Spring after a long illness. Pauline will be greatly missed.
At the Knowle West Churches Together AGM in April this year Richard presented a moving report on Filwood. He has kindly granted permission to publish extracts for Rapport readers:
“I often remind myself of the Red Indian proverb, ‘Do not judge another person until you have walked in their moccasins for two weeks …
There is the family where all the children bar one are drug dependent, the mother never goes out, and the father cannot read or write …
One of the young mothers told me she had recently been in the GP’s surgery when the person next to her left his wallet on the chair.
‘In the past Rich, I would have pocketed it; this time I called him back. This is partly through this place’s influence.’
Then we had a man who is totally deaf who came in with his sister, again unable to read or write … he had not received any benefit for over seven weeks. After help from Filwood, and numerous phone calls, his benefit came back on stream.
There was the lad who came in the week we opened. He was fourteen and on drugs. Over the years, we have supported him, together with his parents. Earlier this year he became ‘clean’. I helped him find a flat. He is now looking for full time work.
The background of so many of these people is tragic. I realise how fortunate I have been, to have been born in a loving, supportive family … along with my faith where I receive the unconditional love of my Saviour …”
Please pray for the staff: Richard and David, and for all the faithful volunteers. Remember also all those in search of support, help and, above all, hope.
For more information or offers of help, phone Richard on 0117 963 4566.
Filwood Hope is a registered charity, which was established through a partnership with the Knowle West Churches Together and Network Counselling.