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COVID-19 Update from Father Hudsons Care

Brushstrokes

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Brushstrokes is a partnership project between Father Hudson’s Care, the Infant Jesus Sisters, the parish of St Philip Neri and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. It welcomes the stranger in our midst and reaches out to the hidden poor in Sandwell and west Birmingham.

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The project visits and befriends asylum seekers, offers hospitality in its community café, and helps newcomers settle into their new communities. It provides clothes, household items, baby packs for expectant mothers, baby equipment and toys. It runs English classes, enabling people to integrate into the community, and offers a range of information, advice and guidance services.

Brushstrokes is involved in early action, to help prevent vulnerable people falling into crisis. It supports people with finding accommodation, employment and training. The project also runs English classes for people who are qualified medical practitioners, supporting them to meet high academic requirements to return to their profession in the UK. 

History

These are:

  • The provision of practical resources to destitute and homeless people and those living in extreme poverty, including food, baby products, clothing and other essential items;
  • Reaching out into local communities by visiting and befriending isolated and excluded people in their own homes and through welcoming people to its community cafe which is a designated Place of Welcome;
  • Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which also encompasses citizenship, literacy, numeracy and employment skills.

Brushstrokes’ vision is encapsulated in its name, which takes its origin from an inspiring phrase of Blessed Nicolas Barré: "We must be in the hands of God like a brush in the hands of the painter."

The core activities depend enormously on the support and dedication of volunteers, who are supported by a Project Manager and a staff team of nine.

Father Hudson’s involvement

Father Hudson’s Care recruits, employs and supports all of the staff and assists with the recruitment and clearances for volunteers. The Head of Community provides supervision and line management to Brushstrokes’ Project Manager and also chairs the Management Committee. The Finance Manager provides accounting support, reports at each Management Committee Meeting and provides management accounts and financial forecasts.

One of the most important aspects of support provided by Father Hudson’s is writing funding applications to grant-making trust, including the National Lottery and many other well-known funders. This is time consuming, detailed work which requires a sound knowledge of all of the services Brushstrokes provides, as well as its future plans. Father Hudson’s Care’s fundraiser works closely with the Project Manager and the team at Brushstrokes to help secure crucial funding.

Find out more about Brushstrokes: visit their website www.brushstrokessandwell.org.uk, email david@brushstrokessandwell.org.uk or call 0121 565 2234.

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