The content of our winter newsletter 2018:
- Poetry Corner
- Thank You!
- Rewriting Lives
- Group Meditation
- Charity Ambassador News
- Date for your diaries
On Wednesday 2nd May, Lord Lieutenant Angus Campbell presented Michaels Limited, the charity behind Michael House, with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honour that can be bestowed to voluntary organisations and the equivalent of an MBE.
Eytan and Michelle Krips kindly hosted the event at Hotel Collingwood, Priory Rd.
In his speech, he talked of the resilience of the charity which has survived severe funding cuts and turned initial opposition into community engagement.
The citation, signed by her Majesty, reads “Michaels Limited provides accommodation, creates opportunities and encourages homeless men and women to rebuild their own lives.
He also presented five friends and supporters with newly created Michael House charity ambassador awards. Recipients included Sheila Hagan who has recruited an army of supporters and volunteers for Michaels, Keith Lunford, Michaels’ accountant for over 20 years and Tracey Harrison who has gone above and beyond her role as community relations partner for Waitrose. The youngest recipients, Corey and Casia Fox, have systematically raised awareness of the hostel as well as money through carol singing and chick-hatching parties. “It was a lovely occasion to be part of,” says mum Katrina Fox. “The kids have come away buzzing with new fundraising ideas and we have pencilled in a duck-hatching day in July.” Further ambassador awards will be presented at the next AGM.
Sheila Hagan said “I am deeply moved and feel so humbled. I’m still completely blown away. I had no idea. I was really pleased to meet Tracey and we are already planning ideas together.”
Tracey Harrison said, “It means a great deal. Michael House will always be special to me.”
May 2018 Newsletter – The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
You may not be fully aware of the ripple effect of your donation?!
Thanks to you lovely people we reached 65% of our £250.00 fundraising target!! Your donations ensured that we could fund our residents to service all 10 bikes, the purchase of safety equipment and cycle helmets, the house-made packed lunch and the obligatory cup of tea on Swanage Beach! Most importantly, you brought the house together with lots of laughter and motivated everyone to push through. Most importantly, you’ve inspired us to go further next year! #ThankYou #RebuildingLives #25MilesFor25Years #MoreInCommon #BoscombeToStonehenge2018
As an independent charity, Michael House does not receive additional funding to deliver the standard of support that we do, so the generosity of the community is always greatly appreciated.
If you would like to become a regular donor and help support our in-house and out-door activities, please follow the secure link below:
May 2017 Most of the time, the staff of Michael House homeless hostel in Boscombe, try to keep their residents off the streets. But on Tuesday nights between January and May, they take them back- to save endangered wildlife.
They’re working a shift on the Ringwood and Poulner Toad Patrol. Teresa Baker started this 28 years ago, when she saw how many toads were killed on Gorley Road as they made their way from Ringwood Forest to spawn in Blashwood Lakes. Teresa thinks the patrol, now registered with Frog Life, may be the oldest in the county.
So far this year, the whole patrol has saved over 720 toads. The Michael House residents have been a big part of this.
“People criticise homeless people,” says Teresa, “but it’s amazing they are coming all the way from Boscombe to do this. It’s very important work. The toads play a big part in the local ecosystem.”
Apparently, it’s one of the most popular activities arranged by the house. “There are always more volunteers than spaces in the car,” says CEO Mark Horsford. “We hope to do it next year too.”
March 2017 Michael House homeless hostel is going from strength to strength, fulfilling its aim to see lives restored and winning several awards in the process. Now thanks to the Room to Reward scheme, staff have been able to thank two of the people who give up their free time to help them with short breaks for two.
Tracey Harrison became involved with Michael House in the course of her work as a community champion for Waitrose, Christchurch, but her enthusiasm has driven her to use much of her free time too.
She felt inspired by her first visit to the project. “There was so much going on. Mark, the manager, had so many ideas to make the residents lives better. All the team were lovely.” But it was hard to find anywhere for staff to have private conversations with the residents. Mark wanted to build a small room in the garden. So Tracey brought round some of the Waitrose partners to build a base and erect what has now become known as the “shack”. She also organised a quiz for World Homeless Day in association with three local homeless charities, including Michael House. She visits the house frequently. “People give me all sorts of stuff to bring.”
She was “chuffed” to be nominated for one to three nights in a hotel with Room to Reward. She and her husband spent a weekend in Brighton. “The weather was awful, but that didn’t matter. The hotel was beautiful and they upgraded us.”
Jenna Milton owns Creations hairdressing salon in West Parley. She regularly visits Michael House to offer haircuts to the residents.
“Having your hair done can be the best medicine, if you’re feeling low or about to have an interview,” she says. “I love doing it. To me, it’s only a few hours of my time, but it makes a massive difference to the residents. And it’s really nice to see people develop in self-confidence over time. Some of the ex-residents still come back for a cut.”
“I did cry a lot when I got the email. I was overwhelmed by it all. I took my partner to a really posh hotel in Devon for two nights. We had a wonderful time. I was so grateful.”
From Room to Reward website: The aim of Room to Reward is to recognise and reward the commitment, hard work and selflessness of registered charity staff and volunteers with a complimentary short break, giving them the chance to spend quality time with a loved one and enjoy a few days of pure relaxation.
Michael House residents have put months of work into producing a prize-winning garden. Read all about in the Bournemouth Echo.