As part of our mission, Saint Andrew’s supports four local charities:
Insight – Insight are a Christian Schools Work Trust that has been working in local schools in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames since 1988. As a team they serve local schools through presenting Christianity in a number of different forums – in the classroom (teaching Religious Studies, Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education), through lunch groups (running events such as Insight Bible Clubs or Insight Christian Unions), and through supporting staff.
Kingston Churches Action of Homelessness (KCAH) – KCAH supports primarily single people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or who are experiencing serious problems with private landlords. They help solve housing problems and improve the quality of people’s lives by providing a drop-in advice service (our ‘Housing Crisis Access Project’), making referrals to relevant housing providers, eg Joel Community Services and the YMCA Surbiton, providing temporary accommodation (in the ‘Access Project’), offering a Job Club and providing emergency clothing, equipment and food. KCAH was set up in 1993 by over 50 churches in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
SPEAR – SPEAR is a charity working with homeless people in and around Richmond and Merton. Since 1987, they have offered services to thousands of homeless and vulnerable people, successfully transforming lives and supporting many of their service users to the point that they have achieved total independence. SPEAR is not just about homelessness and housing – their aim is to support clients to live independently, reach their aspirations and live a fulfilling life. They support clients to develop new skills, confidence and self-esteem. They know that increased self esteem comes with small steps of change and that all these steps make the difference to maintaining a home and breaking the cycle of homelessness. They offer excellent services to those most marginalised in society and they strive constantly to improve those services and the lives of our clients.
WelCare Kingston – WelCare run WelCare House which is a place for local families to meet, connect and support each other. They care about parents and parenting and WelCare House has a long history of being a friendly and open place where parents and children can build confidence, support each other and get advice. They understand the challenges of parenting and welcome families from all backgrounds to WelCare. They have a longstanding presence in the local community that enables them to provide long-term support for families. They have a drop in service for parents who need advice and support or just a place to go to connect with others. They organise events and play for families, including during the holidays. They offer targeted support for parents experiencing mental health issues and for families caring for the children of prisoners.
Through our former curate, Sister Veronica, the church has forged strong links with the church in the Solomon Islands. We have had several visits from groups of monks and nuns, from teachers, and most recently from the Bishop. A few of our members have also visited the church there. The Sunday School has sent reading books to Muana school and we have contributed to cost of developing a new secondary school. We also support them, through prayers and financially for the work of the church, particularly in their centre for housing women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. We have found this an enriching experience as a church. It gives us a world-wide view of our faith and it enables us to share our mission with people who we would otherwise not know.