Our projects improve the lives of vulnerable people in our community, and the community itself, in many different ways. They help to provide, amongst other aspects:-
- A SAFER local environment
- Improved mental and physical WELLBEING
- A contribution to CRIME REDUCTION
- REDUCTION in use of EMERGENCY SERVICES
- REDUCED PRESSURE on other front line CARE SERVICES
- LESS INEQUALITY
Often people are beneficiaries of one or more projects – for example, when they are homeless, they attend the night shelter in the winter, and also the Street Angels will check on them at night. Then they can be helped to be housed and settled in to accommodation at the Homeless Project, and are able to access Foodshare for a while, until they get on their feet. If they are able to attend training or start work, there is support at the Homeless Project with IT, appropriate interview clothing, or whatever is needed to take these next steps. Our aim is to empower people to be able to rebuild their lives, which has a huge impact not only individually, but also on our community.
Windsor Foodshare currently supports an average of 70 individuals/ families per week. When a family or an individual accesses Windsor Foodshare, they are able to get basic non-perishable groceries every week, as well as fruit and vegetables, thus cutting the food bill considerably and easing often very tight finances. It can often mean that the other bills can be paid, and debt avoided. This contributes to better mental health, as it also reduces the stress on people who are struggling, when it is sometimes hard to find the money to put a meal on the table every day. Another of the benefits is an improvement in physical health for all recipients. The impact on the children is especially important – having enough to eat, and eating well, can really affect children’s ability to concentrate at school and achieve better educational outcomes. This has huge social impact by helping to reduce inequality.
More than a Shelter runs in the coldest months, from usually from January to March. The last time the shelter ran, in 2019, 27 individuals made use of the service, which includes a hot meal, a bed for the night, and a light breakfast in the morning. These people are among the most vulnerable in our community, as they would otherwise be sleeping rough. The night shelter preserves life, as on the streets in the cold, people can suffer from sometimes fatal hypothermia. A hearty meal is always served, and eaten together, which improves health and reduces loneliness. The street homeless are often targets of abuse and attacks at night, and this is avoided by the availability of a safe place to sleep, thus relieving the police and ambulance teams. The social impact of this is to contribute to safety in our town for all.
Windsor Street Angels helps an average of about 100 people a week in Windsor at night time. When people go out and socialise on a Friday and a Saturday night, Windsor Street Angels keep them safe by providing a base at Windsor Baptist Church where they can go if they are lost, injured or needing a helping hand. Soup, water, blankets, flip-flops and first aid are provided. Apart from promoting safety and physical health, one the other important social impact of this service is that the Angels defuse situations between people and so fights are avoided. Crime is also reduced by having a vigilant presence in the town.
Windsor Homeless Project hosts an average of 60 people at its town centre venues in Holy Trinity Garrison Church (weekdays), and at St Stephens (Saturdays). Hot food is provided in a warm dry place, contributing to physical health and wellbeing. Support is given, in partnership with Resilience, to reduce addiction, which in turn reduces drug and alcohol-related crime in the town. In addition, the help that is given with finding accommodation and setting up home means that those people are settled in a safe, warm place of their own and do not need to sleep on the streets of Windsor. Mental health issues are reduced by having a counsellor on site, which helps the individuals concerned as well as taking pressure off the NHS. Moving guests into voluntary or paid work, where appropriate, also has positive social impact by providing guests with an opportunity to give back, and use their time and skills in the service of others.