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COVID-19 Update from Father Hudsons Care

Parish collection 2020 - a letter from Andy Quinn

17th September 2020

Dear friends of Father Hudson’s Care

Parish Collection Sunday 27th September 2020

I do hope I can call you friend. Father Hudson’s has worked in the Archdiocese for over a hundred years, driven by a mission and a passion to carry out the works of mercy that our Lord demanded of us. And he did demand much.

I can say that over the last six months, since the outbreak of the pandemic, it has becoming clearer than ever to me what it means to try to live up to being a charity that is called to serve. When so many services were closing down and closing doors, our managers asked me how can we find ways to carry on working and serving. Indeed for all those staff who work in our Care homes, St Joseph’s, Saint Catherine’s and St Vincent’s, whatever their fears, whatever their anxieties, they knew they had to come in because if they didn’t, who would provide the 24-hour, seven day a week care for people living with dementia, complex needs and learning disabilities. If not them, then who.

And so too with our work with the homeless - we had to close our collaborative project Tabor House which provided communal sleeping space for those who would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets of Birmingham - it was deemed unsafe because it was communal. Such was the good name of Tabor House that Birmingham City Council asked us to work with them to look after the more than 50 people who they had to house in a hotel in Birmingham as part of the approach in every part of the country to have no one sleeping rough during the pandemic. What wonderful work they achieved in this period - all of those that stayed in the hotel were helped by our staff and the council staff to find move on accommodation. And now the doors of Tabor House are open again, having been completely refurbished to make it safe.

What a time to be an asylum seeker or refugee in this country. It has been difficult enough for those who have their own homes and employment, but for those who are completely destitute if Brushstrokes, St Chad’s Sanctuary, Fatima House and Sophia House had not kept their doors open and delivered food so many families and individuals would have starved.

Vulnerable families locked down on their own, day in day out, were very happy to be contacted by our Family support workers, and those who had been using our Day Service valued the regular contact from staff they knew and trusted; those in foster care appreciated the constant support from our social workers and foster carers; very isolated older people were not abandoned - some received hot meals from Hope, many received regular calls from our Young at Heart team in North Staffs and the volunteers at Maryvale.

All of the seventeen services that we are involved in providing, with our other partners, continued in one form or another. Some reduced, to comply with the guidance, some increased because the need was just so great. If you want to see a short video of our work this is available on YouTube. Please do take the time to look - photos tell so much more than my words are able to.

I’m pleased to say we were there when someone needed to be there.

This was only possible because of your generosity and the generosity of our donors.

 

As you know each year we have relied on the Good Shepherd collection in our Catholic schools, but sadly this year, even though we had a wonderful Mass live streamed from the Cathedral with the Archbishop Bernard, only a few were able to support us - but we thank those few.

This year we will lose nearly half a million pounds keeping St Joseph’s, our Care home, open, which we will. Care homes that are commercial would just close in this situation, we will not. We will continue in faith and continue to fundraise.

So I ask you if you can:

  • Give today if you’re in church, your donation now means more than ever
  • Give online if you’re watching Mass live streamed - just go to Father Hudson’s website, to the donate button at the top of the page
  • Give using your phone by text, Text FATHERH and the amount you want to donate to 70085 to donate. Texts will cost your donation plus one standard rate message. For example to donate £5 text FATHERH 5 or on our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/FHC2020
  • And please, even if you are not able to donate, look at the short video on our website fatherhudsonscare.org.uk which will be available from 28th September on our news section

Finally, we have found this year from a recent survey that many of our regular supporters are women, over 75 years old, who are Catholic, so I express a special thanks to you. You are inspirational to all of us with your generosity and we hope that others will be inspired by the way you give, from often the little you have.

Yours in Christ,

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Andy Quinn,

CEO, Father Hudson’s Care

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