Tel 01985 220657
Cornerstone is a registered charity
Registered Number 1157440
Over the past year Cornerstone has been as active as ever in helping the most vulnerable members of our local community. In fact, we have logged up over 700 occasions when individuals have been assisted in a variety of ways.
The vast majority of clients (people we help) have obtained help by visiting our Town Centre location in the central car park. The degree of need has varied enormously; ranging from simply needing help to fill in complex forms and accessing online information, to being homeless and sleeping rough. The latter has always proved difficult to deal with, since there is a critical shortage of single-person accommodation. Nevertheless, we have helped a number of people find permanent homes. If nothing else, Cornerstone has provided a place where people can share their problems over a free hot drink in a friendly, totally non-judgmental environment.
Of course, not everyone is able to attend our main office. This is especially so for the very elderly or disabled. For this reason we have developed Mobile Cornerstone, whereby on request our volunteers attend a client’s home. A typical example might be to help complete a complex Benefit application form (which can take a number of hours). The mobile team has also attended benefit appeal hearings, and health assessment hearings as the client’s advocate. This year has seen over 70 visits by the mobile team.
The third way in which we have been very active is in the provision of our Counselling Service. For many people, especially those on very low income, professional counselling is completely out of reach (average £45 per 1 hour session). Cornerstone has offered low-cost professional counselling which requires only a minimal voluntary contribution for each session. Clients usually attend for 12 sessions but when necessary this has been extended. Over the year 136 one-hour sessions have been undertaken.
As well as highlighting some of Cornerstone’s work over the past year, the other reason for this newsletter is to recognise that none of this would be possible without the support of people like you. We operate with a fantastic crew of volunteers who give up their time freely because they have a heart for helping others. We also rely on voluntary donations to pay our overheads. Whether in terms of time or money, we pray that as you read this letter you will be rewarded by the joy that comes from selfless giving.
Whether dealing with a personal crisis, the rising cost of living, or the frustration of being left behind by technology, Cornerstone continues to provide a lifeline for many. On behalf of our volunteers and all the people that we have helped, a great big thank you for your support.
Wishing you a very happy and blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.