Thank you, and I hope it continues…

I have been amazed at the positive reaction I have had from people to my last post asking for help and I hope lots more of you also Get in contact too.

Many people I’ve not heard from in a long time have asked what they can do to help and so now I am working on re-finding out what people do, their skills and what could be possible. I’ve known many of these people for years and some new ones but more known them from working on a set project so don’t know their full work lives or what they studied so that is my next port of call.

Thank you to all that have submitted your support, it is great to know that I am not alone in this idea. If you feel you could help, please Get in contact and we could organise a meet up to talk in more detail.

Can anyone advise on…

  • Social media management on how to spread the idea (and promote when setup)
  • How to use linkedIN to get support
  • What you think my next steps should be?
  • Legal setup of an organisation/charity

Thank you for reading, I’ll update when I have something more to update you on.

Until next time… 🙂

Please can you help me?

Good day friends, I am hoping you can help me. I am looking to setting up some sort of organisation and need help on how I can do this. I want to set up an identity that can manage a social enterprise business of sorts to help those who are struggling in life.

I have no idea how to make money out of this to self fund itself and believe it will need significant investment and help from people that know what they are doing. All I have at the moment is an idea and I hope that people can help me expand it and help it grow.

One idea I’ve had is to use affiliated marketing, where people click though and buy via links on a website to raise money for the group or diversify web development into it somehow as that is something I know how to do.

The idea I need help with…

Over the past month, you’ve seen me post many messages on how I’d like a place for people struggling to have somewhere to get support. I am aware there are various organisations that already do this and many are already overwhelmed and need support themselves.

Create a place where people can be fed, provided with resources to live and support to help them to a better place.

From my vision and last years post

“I was standing and praying and found myself in a large building – it seemed like a block of offices that on every few levels had a mixture of shops or services on it and some had green spaces with trees and grassy areas. I was to discover that this was actually a place for those struggling in life from addictions to homelessness to those soon out of work. It was somewhere they could live and get the support they needed all in one place.”

“Now I see people struggling and would love to find a place or set-up a place where people can come and eat and not worry about the cost but have a healthy full filling meal. Somewhere they can stay if they are homeless or struggling or just trying to get away from others and need somewhere to rest.”

How can you help?

There are many ways you can help, and support is a big one along with prayers but this project is not about my beliefs in Christianity but in the hope to help people in my area.

Please have a look and if you can help please get in contact.

  • How to organise this
  • Who to contact
  • How to promote this
  • How to get funding
  • Social enterprise/charity setup
  • Legal advice on best way to do things
  • How you personally want to support
  • Ideas to make money, make it self sufficient
  • Anything else I’ve not thought about yet

I am aware that there will be many skills that I do not have, and if you can help or advise on the following, that could also be really helpful.

  • Design Skills (leaflets, promotion, informing people)
  • Publicity
  • Accounting
  • Legal obligations
  • Business Setup
  • Marketing
  • Advice for raising funds
  • Getting people to help
  • Volunteer management
  • Plus many more things that I clearly have not yet considered

I really appreciate your interest, and hope that you will get in contact and see what we can do.

I can meet with people in Stockton during day times to discuss ideas you may have and if you have any suggestions.

Get in contact so we can set some time out to do it 🙂

Thanks for reading… Until next time…

Imagination, dream or vision…

In my last few posts I’ve shared about what I can see as an issue in Stockton on Tees (and surrounding area) with people struggling and with homelessness. I want to explain a little on how things so far have set in place and its certainly not been a short journey.

There has been a vision of change for many years and it first really started back in 1999 when I was first a steward transitioning from an attendee to one that helped with friends. I was in an active church with active youth church too and we met regularly and prayed regularly for each other. I miss that, but always used to have difficulty doing the whole prayer out loud thing as I still do.

We were away at a celebration when I saw that I was in multiple spaces of time simultaneously. Where everyone was in worship and I was there but it was not all then. It was as though time did not exist, and we were seeing multiple time periods simultaneously. I could recognise some as past as many as not yet, and this was around 2002. Since then I’ve seen them again but been in the moment – one of those moments was last years spring harvest when we were in the mixed range group in centre stage.

Another time I was standing and praying and found myself in a large building – it seemed like a block of offices that on every few levels had a mixture of shops or services on it and some had green spaces with trees and grassy areas. I was to discover that this was actually a place for those struggling in life from addictions to homelessness to those soon out of work. It was somewhere they could live and get the support they needed all in one place.

And that got me thinking, should I be on a mission? – I explored the various charities and mission groups and every time I looked into it, I got the message that “mission starts at home” and that I was not to go away but to work and help the area I live in. But what can I do? and then everything went on pause. Work was not really happening and the funding of life became difficult and everything was work, try to work etc and pause, the dreams always hung in the back of my mind but I didn’t really do anything more with it.

I attended and helped at various events usually to do with youth work, sometimes Harvest and sometimes IXth hour. I would get the message that I could one day be one of those on stage, sharing Gods message to people but I couldn’t even stand up and chat to 3 to 4 people, never mind 500+ and thought that could never happen and dismissed it but consistently was reminded that I should try. When I attended message 2000, I froze completely in front of strangers and no words came out and others came to rescue me – I got over it the next day but it was not easy.

In 2011, I felt a pull to study law at university – another thing I thought I’d never get through. I went not to get a degree but to learn how to protect peoples rights, and keep people safe. I’d always advised people of the logical sense of arguments but I wanted more, I wanted to know what I was saying would protect and not just advise and as I’ve found, the law is not quite as logical as it would be thought with many exceptions to many incidents. I am better informed now, and that is now finished as of yesterday and awaiting results – I actually got through it!

I still struggled with presenting, and found a group named Toastmasters which helps people get the confidence to speak and how to project yourself. The group didn’t last long in Teesside but I attended for about 9 months and did stand up a few times and gave talks… it was terrifying and still it was difficult at university until one time that scared me a lot. I was sharing my faith with friends in a group setting, a group that takes the mic out of most things and for the first 40 minutes, it was awful but by the end they were talking and working with me and asked what is next week excited. I did 3 to 4 sessions with them, each about 90 minutes… and when it came to a university presentation later that year, talking about a subject I knew about it was a lot easier.

I’m not saying presentations is something I enjoy and I really do get nervous sometimes but it was seeing a youth leader that I’ve known present for 20+ years getting nervous before going on stage and then he was full of confidence then back off full of nerves. When I chatted to him, he told me it happens almost every time – it doesn’t get easier and that gave me confidence too. I also chatted to several other I know talk well publicly and they all said nerves gets to them too.

Several years later and I was at SH helping in the Big Top (the only year I’d done Big Top) and on the stage was someone from my home town talking about the poverty of my home town and how Spring Harvest could help. Money was raised and sent there to help with projects but the passion hit me hard. I got through the stewarding but afterwards I was useless to everyone, broken inside and people could see. Friends helped me back to the stewards lounge to rest and I just was broken with joy.

I tried to get involved with the charity, but it was a charity for women and young people only so I didn’t really “fit” there but it kept on my mind. Last year I got the message that the time to wait is over and to get started, and this year I saw how I could use much of what I’ve learned this year to start something – the only issue now is to figure what that something is.

I think its to create a place where people can get the help they need like the building suggested above though I am not sure where it will go, or how it will be funded or anything like that but all ideas come from somewhere and if there is a passion behind it, something can usually be found.

No matter if it was my imagination, it is something I’d like to see if can be done.

So what now…?

Well yesterday I submitted my dissertation so now is the time to get started with the thoughts on how to proceed and research on how to actually get something in progress. Over the past few years, I have worked with organisations to help out at things and was always told, if I ever needed help to go back and ask so that is where I will be starting as soon as I work out how to make some sort of business case or plan of the aim of what I want to achieve.

I may even need help with that – If you feel you can help, please get in contact with me. I have a contact page on my website and would love to hear of your insights too.

Thanks for reading. Until next time….

Skegness, Time away, Spring Harvest 2017, the next installment?

This seems to be my annual update for Spring Harvest as I don’t tend to have much time to update this blog or in reality much time to write that is just for me.

Over the past week I have been away to Skegness at an event named Spring Harvest. I’ve been stewarding there since 2009 and always over the Easter time of the year. This year we had good sized team and it has been a great mix and I’ve got to know many people and make some amazing friendships.

Spring Harvest is a teaching and worship event for everybody. It’s a unique break for all the family: holiday, festival, conference, and an encounter with God. I help/worship by volunteering with stewarding and always get to meet great friends new and old.

I was not sure if I was going to attend this year and it came down to the Saturday before to decide whether I was going or not as university work is quite stressful at the moment. I have my dissertation due in now 10 days time and having my first main copy done this Wednesday. The plan was to be done before I went away and it wasn’t looking good. I decided I needed a break from it to look at it with fresh eyes and rest – there was not much resting this past week but certainly a break.

Spring Harvest Stewarding Team 2017

Spring Harvest Stewarding Team 2017

I’ve re-read a lot of what I did last year and still can relate to a lot of it but I am enjoying things a lot more. Work & University are both difficult but do-able and university is almost over.

This year at Spring Harvest, I was asked to be a team leader of Jaks which I enjoyed a lot. My team worked really well together and was in the 11 to 14’s venue all week. We had a lot of fun with the crazy games they had on and a few discussions about what they could or could not do but overall an amazing week and would love to work with those teams again.

Spring Harvest Stewarding Team 2017 for 11 to 14's venue

Spring Harvest Stewarding Team 2017 for 11 to 14’s venue

At the end of last years post I said this:

“Now I see people struggling and would love to find a place or set-up a place where people can come and eat and not worry about the cost but have a healthy full filling meal. Somewhere they can stay if they are homeless or struggling or just trying to get away from others and need somewhere to rest.

I have NO IDEA how this will be possible and in some following messages I will expand on my idea however I will need help, and lots of it. I have some ideas but feel that we need to work together to serve each other and help. I don’t know how this will happen but trust it will and believe it is possible. It is time to stop just existing but to do something and use those connections and see what is real or not.”

This is still a passion to do and not really started on as a project. Over the past year I’ve been getting involved locally with projects and can now see that I can use what I have learned from these projects (next post) to go forward. I still don’t know how it will happen but do know I’ll need a lot of help with everything from getting funding to providing the services but feel I am now in a position to help make this happen – well in 14 days time (after I finish university).

There has been a lot of reflection to last year in this post, but hope you will continue to read future posts.

Working with various projects to make something new that will last

Working with various projects to make something new that will last

As it happens, while volunteering and helping about; this is when I feel I hear from God. This year it was at the end of one of the events we were running for the 11 to 14’s. The venue was cleared and we were cleaning up the area ready for the next things but the band and venue team were still worshipping and I just stopped and felt a great warmth and opportunity to pray and asked “I’ve done lots this year, and learned many things but what is next – how can what I’ve done help with the vision of last year?” and a calmness covered me and it was like the trinity symbol I love coming together with me in the centre, and the three projects I’ve worked with surrounding me. I could see that they were not the final project but a stepping stone, I can pull them together to make something new.

I am thinking that a project could be setup that would encompass some sort of social enterprise that would provide for homeless/those in need while at the same time making money to pay people to run it and make it self sufficient. I’ve worked with many charity groups and funding is always an issue so to make something that could re-generate funds within itself would mean it could keep on going. I am now aware that it is possible to get grants, and funding to support ideas of change but will need a LOT of help to get anywhere.

So where to go next is the question to ask, and I am sure I will be asking people to help me as I know I cannot do this one alone. I’ve shared a few of these ideas already with some of you and you’ve pledged your support but how… that is the next obstacle to get over.

Have you seen the Super Bright Orange Penguins??

Orange Penguins

Over the past week some people have seen me in my extremely bright orange hoodie a friend made up for me and asked me what is it about Orange Penguins and why am I wearing it. Well the basic overview is that myself and friend Michelle are going to compete at the Gung-Ho 5K Obsticle challenge. Gung Ho is a 5k fun obstacle race and we are doing this as a goal towards getting fit, loosing weight, and raising funds for Dementia Awareness, and hopefully having fun along the way!!

We are Team Orange Penguins and over the next few months we will talk about how we are doing on the blog at– we are both not fit and I’ve just had a week at Spring harvest  for a kick in to start getting fitter where there was daily lots of walking and lifting of chairs.

We are hoping to raise over £500 for Dementia awareness and have a Just Giving sponsor page and so far have had around £120 worth of sponsors. I hope that you will sponsor us too and that we can help raise that target by a lot more. I can honestly say that I am not fit and not sure how within 3 months I am going from a non-runner to being able to do the 5K and a set of obstacles. We are both looking at the NHS couch to 5K course that says 6 weeks but thankfully we have 12 at present and its hard work (or so Michelle tells me – I’m not starting until Monday the 4th April)

Sponsor link:
Orange Penguins Blog:

Thank you