Summer closure

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As of Friday, 27th July, The Besom in York is now closed for a few weeks over the summer.

Our next working day will be Wednesday, 22nd August.

Bundles of Joy are also closed over the summer.

If you have furniture to give, but cannot hold on to it until the last week of August, we recommend contacting the York Community Furniture Store on 01904 426444.

If you are a referrer and would like to refer a client, please do so here: https://goo.gl/forms/Juey37PE0RGMiuV13

For any other enquiries please email info@thebesominyork.co.uk and we will reply on our return.

God bless,

The Besom in York team

 

 

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Far more than just a coincidence

A few weeks ago we had several answers to prayer in one day. We see God working a lot at the Besom but it’s times like these, when so many things happen in one day that we just cannot put it down to coincidence.

Firstly, we opened up our emails to find a referral for a washing machine. The next email down was an offer of a washing machine. Not only that, but once we rung the giver we discovered that he was in all day and we could collect the washing machine that afternoon. Not only that but the washer was a big one, and the lady who we gave it to has six children!

The next answer to prayer was for finding two projects in the Tang Hall area. We always have referrals for people needing gardening or decorating help. However, the ones we had in Tang Hall were either unavailable on the day the teams were coming or no longer needed help.

We prayed.

Later on, we received an update for a referral in Tang Hall – the recipient desperately needed some help with her garden.

A couple of hours later we received a phone call from a referrer for her client needing some decorating help, and where did she live? Tang Hall!

And there’s more! In the morning, we received a phone call from a giver, who had a cooker and a washing machine to give. Unfortunately she lived in Malton, just a little too far for us to come and collect. We took her details anyway and said we would let her know if anything came up. Not long later, we received an email from a referrer looking for some white goods for a client of hers in MALTON! We couldn’t believe it and put her in touch with the giver straight away.

God is good. It is wonderful when He matches gifts to recipients for us!

Becky Lewis, Co-ordinator, The Besom in York

 

 

 

 

SHAC students get stuck in

We were so blessed to have another team of Ampleforth College students (SHACworks) spend a week giving their time again this year.

They carried out three projects in Tang Hall. The first was a decorating project for a lady who had just been given her first permanent home. They decorated the hallway, the kitchen and the bathroom and did a fantastic job!

The second was a garden for a mum of four. The garden was covered in stinging nettles and wasn’t safe for the children to play in. The team strimmed and dug the nettles out, they put up a swing set, created raised beds to grow things in and even laid some turf. The family were over the moon.

The last project was another garden for another family. The team dug up the front garden – not an easy task in the 27 degree heat! They laid some shingle down and also painted a huge garden fence in the back garden.

The teams went above and beyond to give to these families. It was incredible to see how hard they worked and the difference they made. We are so thankful for them! Here are some photos of their work…

Project One

Before…

… and after!

 

Project Two

Before…

 

…and after!

 

Project Three

 

 

Making connections

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More and more frequently, we receive referrals for people who are isolated and lonely without community and family around them. As Christians, we believe that we were not created to do life on our own! So many churches across York run all kinds of free activities for people, from all walks of life. Toddler groups, craft groups, choirs, drop-ins, Foodbanks, cafes, children’s clubs, walking groups, elderly groups, discussion groups, football clubs… the list goes on.

The Besom is all about bridging the gap between people who want to give and those in need. We realised that churches are giving their time, resources, skills and abilities to run groups for people across the city and we are receiving referrals for recipients who need these groups. From this, Connect was born.

connect page

Connect is our new web page detailing free activities that churches across York are offering as they seek to show God’s love in action. So far, we’ve collated information from 15 different churches across York, although we’re sure there are more! We aim to get in touch with every church in the city by the end of the year and have a fully comprehensive list.

Please join us in praying for the people who use this new Connect resource. Let’s pray that new “bridges” will be formed with those in need with their local church. Let’s pray that relationships will blossom, that people will feel at home and that feeling isolated will no longer be a huge factor in so many people’s lives.

Do drop us an email if your church has free activities we could feature on Connect.

#weareaallaboutgiving

Becky Lewis, Co-ordinator, The Besom in York

Faith has to make a difference

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“You can’t really get away from the call of God to help people in need. You can’t read the Bible and cut that out. If all the student groups in York did a project each term, just think what an impact that could have!”

Adam Mitchell-Baker, student worker at York’s G2 church, is thinking big. Having seen the impact Besom projects can have both on the givers and the recipients, he is happy to bang the drum about them. Last month, Adam led a team of G2 students in clearing out an overgrown garden in Tang Hall, but that was just the church’s most recent time of giving.

Adam has seen many students at G2 gain real encouragement in their faith as they show God’s love in action through the Besom. And while some do give time as individuals, it is often through the team aspect of doing a practical project that students are best able to serve.

“We’ve tried to do one project a term as a student group. They take it seriously and see it as a key part of living in the city. It’s a chance to contribute and bless other people. One of the core values of our student group is that we have a heart for our city. This is a really practical way for people to show that.”

The Tang Hall gardening project (above) took place at a home just round the corner from where one of the G2 students lived, which proved really eye-opening. During the course of the day, a team, of 12 got to work on the family’s garden, which had been blighted by rubbish thrown from a nearby alleyway. By the end, the garden was transformed.

Adam said: “They were having a kids’ birthday in a couple of weeks, but there just wasn’t any space to do that in the garden. Having more people involved means you can do quite a lot in one day. This was our fifth project in the last 18 months. People in our church have done other projects before, so it’s not just students getting involved. There are members of our church who are still friends with people they gave time to help six or seven years ago.”

G2 invite students to sign up for a Besom project during their freshers term – and they are encouraged to get stuck in throughout their university careers. It was through this that current co-ordinator Becky Lewis first discovered the Besom in York.

Hundreds of students are part of churches across York and we would love to help as many as possible give as God enables them.

Adam said: “We’ve even seen people’s housemates, who are not Christians, coming along on Besom projects. They see their Christian friends are different because they care in this way and some have come along to church and Alpha as a result.”

He added: “Faith has to make a difference, knowing God’s love for the poor and letting that make an impact in your actions. It’s not just G2 doing this, it’s lots of different churches across York. It’s not about building up your own good deeds. It’s great to have partnership with churches across the city.”

If you’d like to contact the Besom in York or have a story to share, our details are here.

 

Four wardrobes in one day (and other stories)

It’s been a while since our last blog entry, so here’s Becky Lewis, our Co-ordinator, with a bit of an update…

In both in March and April, it was awesome to have the Revive team from Vineyard church giving their time to help a couple of families decorate their homes. In one home, there was one wall with four layers of chipboard and wallpaper to take off – the team worked incredibly hard for hours, and the recipient was really pleased! They have also painted her kitchen and bathroom for her.

The second recipient the team helped was a mum-to-be and they spent an afternoon decorating the baby’s bedroom, getting it ready for her arrival. As this was happening, two members of the team collected a carpet that had been offered and brought it back to lay in the same recipient’s hallway. It was great to hear how the team helped her make her flat feel more like home.

We’ve had several van runs over the last couple of months, delivering everything from beds and kitchen utensils to four wardrobes in one day! It’s been amazing to help so many people give, and to have a new van giver too as I also learnt to drive the van this month (as you can see below)!

This week, we had a team of students from G2 church give their time to help clear a garden. The garden was full of rubbish, and they spent their time bagging it up and making the place safe for the children to play in. They did a brilliant job. Here is a before and after photo.

As a national organisation, the Besom has been sorting out how to be compliant with the new GDPR laws. This month after a few meetings, we’re particularly grateful to our trustees and all the hard work they’ve put in, helping us establish new processes and policies to be compliant.

We also collected lots of children’s bikes from Archbishop Holgate’s School. One of the teachers there runs a bike restoration project with some of the pupils and it’s been wonderful to give the bikes to children in York who don’t have any.

Over Easter, we were really blessed to receive not only some money from one congregation in York, but lots of Easter eggs! We had a really joyful time giving them to recipients all over York, so a huge thank you to those who donated them.

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If you’d like to get in touch, our contact details are here. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

The difference a table and chairs can make

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A spot of office team painting

It’s getting towards the end of February, so it’s probably about time we updated our blog!

We spent the beginning part of January recovering from Christmas! Christmas hamper season was so very busy, but absolutely brilliant. It was a joy to help so many give hampers across the city.

So far this year we’ve had a team from Trinity Church give their time to help a hamper recipient decorate his flat. It was such an encouragement to us that they wanted to help him in this way. Afterwards, the recipient told us he was ‘over the moon’ with his flat. They’d even managed to lay down some carpet for him when they finished.

The office team have also been painting! St Columba’s Church in which we are based is renovating one of the rooms here, so we all pitched in to help decorate. It was a really great day, working closely with volunteers from The Island charity who are based in the office next door.

We’ve also had bit of trouble with the van! Unfortunately it broke down on us and had to have a new clutch – an expensive fix. We prayed and God provided. Amazingly, we were given three times the amount of money we needed to fix it. God really does provide in abundance.

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James Odgers speaking at the Northern Besom conference

At the beginning of February we went to the Northern Besom conference on the Wirral. It was wonderful to see the growth of the Besom there, learn about the area and meet to encourage one another. It was great to hear James Odgers, who founded the Besom nationally, speak too.

We have also had the ReVive team from York Vineyard church carry out their first project this year. They spent an afternoon stripping lots of wallpaper off a hallway for a young mum. They hope to go back and paint it next month too.

My favourite story of the year so far has been helping to give a table and chairs. The family had two young children and nowhere for them to sit and eat. We dropped a table and chairs to them on the Wednesday, generously given by a gentleman in Clifton and went round to see them on Thursday. “You won’t believe how much difference the table and chairs have made to our lives in just 24 hours!”. Their little boy was sat at the table eating his breakfast. It really made me think about how we take furniture like a table and chairs for granted. It was such a blessing to see their gift being used and making a huge difference in such a small space of time.

Becky Lewis, The Besom in York Co-ordinator