This Christmas we were sad to say goodbye to Steve Bagnall, our Care Centre Manager. As he moves on to pastures new in the Peak District, he shares a few last words on a very special place and its guests.
‘At the Care Centre we offer a warm meal, hot drinks and clothing. We offer practical support with housing, benefits, bank accounts and addiction issues. But above all else we offer companionship. A safe space to come and talk. We try to build trust. Ultimately, for everything we give out, we believe there is no greater gift than the good news of Jesus.
Loneliness will be one of the biggest challenges for our guests this winter. Many people who we see each day are in hostels or supported accommodation and can feel very isolated during the cold months. We also see many rough sleepers and our priority is to help them into some form of accommodation.
We recently helped a Polish man who was sleeping rough. He wasn’t entitled to public funds, which ruled out most hostels as they are government-funded. We eventually found him accommodation which has now led to him finding a job. We bought him some safety boots to get started. He told us that for the first time in many years, ‘I now have hope in my life.’
7 years ago I started with Birmingham City Mission as a volunteer after a bad period of my life. On my final day as Manager of the Care Centre 70 guests were served a full Christmas dinner followed by mince pies and gifts!
It’s impossible to thank everyone but I’ll be forever grateful for all the love, help and support along the way. And a massive thank you to all of our guests who will always have a special place in my heart.’
Huge thanks to you too, Steve. Come back for a visit soon!
We had some beautiful cards to give to the guests at the Care Centre this Christmas. Thank you to the students at Cotteridge Primary School.