Projects and Services Update


Like the rest of the country – and the world – Caritas Westminster has been greatly affected by restrictions put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We are also responding to the changing circumstances affecting the projects we support.

Bakhita House is under lockdown due to a couple of the guests being pregnant and a baby in the house.

It is with great regret that we have had to restrict the movement of the ladies currently living at Bakhita House. These women have spend years living in conditions of slavery, where “lockdown” meant something extremely ugly and cruel. Allowing guests freedom – and helping them cope with this – has been vital for their recovery. However, the health of all in the house, especially the pregnant women and babies, is of greater importance.

St Joseph’s remains open, with reduced students and staff numbers.

Being a college for the vulnerable, St Joseph’s has been allowed to stay open whilst other educational establishments have closed. Around twenty students are attending each day, and classes are being combined. This means a continued routine for these adults with learning disabilities, and a place of love and security. Hygiene has become a focus of many lessons, and the kitchen has closed.

Some teachers are self-isolating, and elderly volunteers, including the incredible 100 year old Ron Palmer, are having to stay home, and are very much missed. 

SEIDS has closed, with telephone support being given to the members.

Unfortunately SEIDS, our community space for entrepreneurs, has had to close its doors. We are grateful to our volunteer mentors who will continue to offer support by telephone. This is an extremely challenging time for anyone setting up a new enterprise or running a small business. Life is on hold, but we will be back, and with God’s grace will return stronger than before.

Caritas Deaf Service have had to suspend all events, but SMS support is still available.

With churches closed and “social distancing” now vital to protect the vulnerable, all Deaf Service events are cancelled until restrictions are lifted. The team are still available for text message and email support and counselling, and a live-streamed sign-interpreted Mass is being broadcast on Saturday Evenings from Our Lady and St Vincent’s, Potters Bar on the website.

Caritas Food Collective are busier than ever, evaluating the needs of food projects and working with partners to redirect food that would have been delivered to schools. Our Development Team are contacting all parishes, foodbanks and other social action projects to find out how we can help – whether that is by sourcing funding or directing them to the Caritas Volunteer Service for volunteering needs.

If you are involved with a struggling food projects, the Caritas Food Collective would like to hear from you.

If you are involved with a charity with an urgent need for volunteers contact the Caritas Volunteer Service.

If you are able to answer a call to be a volunteer sign up here.

Parishes running social action projects can join our new Facebook group to share ideas.



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