Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of employees from ALCOA, a global lightweight metals company based just down the road from our charity shop in Lea Village, our staff and volunteers are now enjoying improved workspace and facilities at the shop.
The hard-working team from ALCOA spent two days adding a coffee bar with three double electric sockets, extending the window display area (opening up more storage space) and building a till unit with a gate to restrict access behind the counter. In the kitchen area they built cupboard doors and plumbed in a dishwasher that they donated.
ALCOA’s generosity is greatly appreciated and our staff and volunteers are really loving being able to work more efficiently. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to the team and Angela Scott from ALCOA for making it all happen.
If you are in the area, please do pop in to the Welcome Charity Shop Lea Village to see these improvements and enjoy a drink served from our new-look coffee bar!
Barry Lawes, one of the first people to be given a life ban from Birmingham City Centre for anti-social behaviour, has been given a Shining Star Award by Birmingham City Council.
The one time drug addict and serial offender, now 52, has not only succeeded in turning his own life around, but is now committed to helping others do the same. He is particularly passionate about helping to prevent young people from taking the same path as he did.
Asked what made him want to change his life, Barry says: “The shame. When I arrived in prison, the officers knew me by name. And I could see the disappointment in my family’s eyes. I felt ashamed of what I’d become and I didn’t want to carry on letting them down.” That was eight years ago.
“Sitting down with the other addicts was a defining moment,” he says. “Initially I thought I was better than them, but I soon came to realise that we were all in the same position and after the same goal – recovery. With their support I found my self-worth, and my self-confidence started to return.”
On the road to recovery from his crack cocaine habit, Barry began volunteering for Swanswell, one of the organisations that had helped him, and eventually joined Birmingham City Council’s Citizens Panel. That led to him becoming an ‘Expert by Experience’ with the Birmingham Changing Futures Together programme which resulted in him getting paid work as an Involvement and Communication Worker with Birmingham Mind.
The Birmingham Changing Futures Together programme, supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by BVSC (Birmingham Voluntary Services Council), is aiming to improve services for people with multiple, inter-related, treatment needs associated with drug or alcohol addiction, offending behaviour, homelessness and mental health problems.
Barry sees himself as the ultimate ‘expert by experience’ – someone who has lived a life that gives him much to share to help others. His message to people grappling with addiction, offending behaviour, homelessness and mental health problems is: “If you find yourself in a difficult situation it’s not hopeless, you can turn it around. Don’t be afraid to access the services available – once I had made up my mind to change I went for everything on offer and I can now be proud of what I’ve achieved.”
One of his achievements is creating his own outreach project, called Chillax, which he delivers on behalf of SIAS (Solihull Integrated Addiction Services). This involves chatting to late night revellers on the streets and making them aware of the potential dangers they face.
But Barry says that probably his proudest moment was going back to court and having the ASBO lifted – presenting as a reformed character and having the judge say “go forth and serve the community”. And he has certainly done that.
We’re delighted to share our Summer 2015 timetable of events with you. Please download here.
If you would like to see our new Summer Newsletter please get in touch on: 0121 749 5702
Please see press release below.
12th June Veterans’ Charity Fundraising Dinner has an impressive line-up
Coventry Peace Education Charity, Normandy Day UK, has teamed up with national limbless veterans’ charity, Blesma, for a charity fundraising dinner on 12th June. Tickets are available at £25 each and are selling fast.
The evening at the Britannia Hotel will be compered by Coventry comedian Billy Bell and local D-Day veterans will be guests of honour. The main speaker is Paddy Doyle, a former paratrooper dubbed ‘the world’s fittest man’, who holds the world record for endurance sports. Coventry Mobo nominee Sandra Godley will be performing a ‘peace anthem’ that was co-written by veteran and event organiser Gordon Quinney and award winning composer Andrew Kristy to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
It would be great if you, colleagues and friends could to be part of this event. Whether or not you can make it, we would ask that you spread the word and post this notice to your web, email and social media networks.
For tickets, please phone Carey Stringfellow on 07887 374 002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Event proceeds will be split between NDUK and Blesma. NDUK proceeds will go towards a Meet The Heroes event in Coventry City Centre on Saturday 27th June to mark Armed Forces Day.
Help us make this a memorable and successful event. Any queries, do get in touch.
Thanks and regards
On behalf of Normandy Day UK
Living in Shard End and want to go out for some fine dining but somewhere right on your doorstep? Welcome Change are converting their cafe into an ambient evening venue, the last Friday of every month.
Bookings have to be made in advance for our first evening which shall include a 3 course meal and some subtle live music.
Bistro Club launches on Friday 27th February with a 3 course meal for only £9.95, with a prompt 7pm start!
Welcome Change CIC is holding a huge clearance sale, on Saturday 31st January and 1st February 2015, 10am – 3pm, at its Cafe and Community Centre (Behind All Saints Church), Ownall Road.
Come along and purchase some of the great items we have including:
Whilst you are there you can try some food from our cafe, freshly prepared by our Chef Mark. On February the 1st we are serving Sunday Lunches, 12 – 2.30pm.
Charity shop January Sale now on. Grab yourself a real bargain as we have, as always, some wonderful stock donated by our wonderful supporters.
We are open Mon – Sat 9.30 – 4.30 pm.
Welcome Change Community Centre
T: 0121 749 5702
Welcome Charity Shop
17 Ownall Road
T: 0121 747 3291
Welcome Charity Shop & Warehouse
289b, Kitts Green Road
T: 0121 786 2154