Deus Caritas Est, God is Love (1 Jn 4:8), the beginning and end of charity, which is the ordered expression of love of neighbour within the communion and mission of the Church
Setting up social action projects in areas of need or to encourage an interest in Catholic Social Teaching, lies at the heart of Caritas's work in the diocese. On this page you can see what projects have already been setup.
MenzShed - Portsmouth North End
The Caritas MensShed is run together with the North End Baptist Church, PowerscourtRoad, North End, Portsmouth. We are presently using the shed to restore tools to send to Africa, so if you are interested in doing a bit of DIY or just want to talk to come along for coffee and a chat, you are welcome at 2:30pm every Tuesday at the North End Baptist Church.
Refugee Project - Diocese Wide
We are all aware of the present refugee crisis, one of the greatest tragedies of the present unfolding daily on our media channels. Well what is the diocese and Caritas doing to help? We are delighted to say that we are actively involved in housing refugee families under the Home Office’s community sponsorship scheme. Caritas is looking for parishes to form a group of about 25 people who would sponsor and house a refugee family in their area. Interested in getting involved in this inspiring project that has been seen to revitalize parishes. So if you want to not just be an observer but a participant in helping refugee families get in touch with Caritas who will get you up to speed asap.
For an introduction to what can be done the following videos are helpful.
The Caritas InSight project - Portsmouth Cathedral
The Caritas InSight project has been setup as a drop-in where those experiencing loneliness or isolation, perhaps recovering from illness or those who just want to make contact with other people can come along and join in some activities before sharing in a common healthy lunch. It takes place every Tuesday in the Portsmouth Cathedral Discovery Centre and all are welcome.
Schools Dragon’s Den project - Diocese Wide
The Caritas Dragon’s Den project is run every year in both Primary and Secondary schools and exists to encourage schools to think up a social action project which they then present at a competition. Winners receive a financial prize to implement their project. Already running for several years the project has been a great success and has encouraged schools to engage in their local community in areas of social need. Project ideas are many and wide ranging and can include:
- Visiting local care homes to offer befriending
- Homeless projects
- Cleaning up the local environment
- Prayer gardens - Foodbank collections - Fundraising for Caritas or other local charities
Mentoring support is available from the Cateniansfor project implementation. If you school is interested in getting involved get in touch with Caritas or contact the project coordinator, Gerry Penfold at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toddler/Parent group - Southampton
Toddler/Parent groups provide great play opportunities for toddlers as well as a great place for mums to become friends with other mums. Caritas supports a Toddler/Parent group run by volunteers in the Holy Family Church in Southampton and offer a warm welcome to any toddlers and their parents who would like to join us each Friday morning.
Holiday Club - Southampton
Each year, usually in the last week of the summer school holiday, Caritas runs a Holiday Club in the Holy Family Church in Southampton. This is a great way for mums to have a break during the long summer holiday while also offering an action packed week of activities for children who might otherwise not have a holiday. Everyone is welcome and Caritas would be willing to setup a repeat Holiday Club project in other other parishes. In 2018 we will have the them of creation which will be a fun filled week of activities on the theme of the Earth, Sky, Water and Animals. We will be building model planes, boats, shelters and also a trip to a local Adventure Park.
Seafarers - Fawley
The life of a seafarer is a difficult one with long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions. As the seafarer’s short time ashore while the ship is in port is precious, Caritas has setup a project in the St. Bernard's church hall which is located near the Fawley oil terminal in Southampton, to offer a place of rest and recreation for visiting seafarers. Here seafarers can have free access to high speed internet, free snacks and refreshments, access to games, limited money exchange, purchase SIM cards, etc. Most of all a freindly welcome from our volunteers and an open church for those who would like to visit awaits all who come along.
We are always looking for donations of suitable clothes in good condition, hats, gloves, scarves, shirts, jackets etc as well as religious items such as rosaries, books, leaflets, medals etc. If you have any such items and would like to donate them to seafarers please get in touch with Caritas.
English Literacy - Reading
We all know the difficulty of learning other languages, a problem much experienced by immigrants who have just moved to the UK. With limited English ability immigrants, in addition to difficulty with life integration and interaction with locals, may also not be able to access benefits that they are entitled to or be able to find work. To help with this Caritas supports an English literacy project in the English Martyr’s parish in Reading. Fully run by volunteers, some of whom are professional teachers, all who are experiencing problems with English are welcome.
Open Church - Southsea
The rising numbers of homeless on our streets is a highly visible heartbreaking problem. In responding to providing a temporary shelter for homeless during the winter period, Churches in Southsea came together to open their church halls for homeless accommodation. Caritas was happy to support the St. Swithuns Church in Southsea as part of this project during the 2017/2018 winter period. The project was a great success and will be repeated during the 2018/2019 winter. This is an ideal project for areas with Churches Together groups to open their doors to rough sleepers during the harsh winter weather. Get in touch with Caritas if you are interested to see such a project in your area.
Get in touch with Kevin Gallagher via email at: email@example.com