Support the Big Collection for the Most Successful Event Yet
September is a big year for The Salvation Army, as it aims to stage the biggest Big Collection so far. The annual event raises money to support people who are vulnerable or marginalised in the UK. The Salvation Army makes a difference to the lives of people every day, as it recognises the whole person, not just their needs. Its cornerstones are Compassion and Respect.
Commenting on the Big Collection, Christine Thomas, territorial appeals officer for The Salvation Army said, “Your kindness will help people all over the UK and your generosity will become a meal for someone who is hungry, enable someone to support an older person living on their own, or provide a helping hand for a young family.”
How to support the Big Collection
One of the easiest ways to support the Big Collection is to text BCOL17 and the amount to be donated to 70070.
You can also support band music which will be staged on high streets around the UK, and support The Salvation Army members visiting local communities.
Keep an eye out for additional fund raising efforts near you.
Making a difference
The following stories highlight the difference that The Salvation Army makes to individual’s lives:
Alan has epilepsy, which caused him to lose his job as a lorry driver six years ago. At around the same time he was going through a divorce and was feeling rootless with itchy feet. He moved from Leeds to Cardiff where he ended up sleeping rough with some friends.
According to Alan, “Obviously I had nowhere to live, but I wasn’t bothered about that. At first it was all right, the drink was there for me.”
However, it soon stopped being ‘all right’ and so his friends introduced him to The Salvation Army’s bus project. The bus project is a mobile drop-in centre that puts a roof over people’s heads and some food in their stomachs. It also provides advice to those experiencing homelessness. Alan went to live at The Salvation Army’s residential centre in Cardiff, Ty Gobaith Lifehouse. He joined the Bridge Programme, which helps people overcome their addictions.
After completing the programme Alan left the centre to live independently in a flat, but it wasn’t long before he went back to sleeping rough. His life was changed again when someone who worked at Ty Gobaith Lifehouse saw him on the streets and told him to return to the centre and said that he was ‘going to be all right’.
Alan said, “It was like a second chance which I’ve never had in life. You cannot put a price on that, to get a second change like that, to turn your life around – and The Salvation Army were the people that did that for me.”
Alastair was a chartered surveyor who retired in 2001. Over the years, his wife, Isobel, noticed that he was showing signs of dementia. Isobel said, “I noticed that he definitely had a problem with his memory. He had no interest in anything. He lost contact with people he knew so had no friends. It was quite difficult. Alastair’s mobility had reached a stage where he couldn’t manage to get out on his own, and unfortunately it got to the stage where I couldn’t look after him.”
During her search for care homes, she found The Salvation Army’s Davidson House in Edinburgh. Isobel said, “I’ve been delighted with the care he’s had here. He seems to have settled, which more than he had in the other places; he kept packing his bags to leave … The staff are particularly caring, they really look after Alastair and I just can’t fault them at all.”
Andy was a drug addict who funded his addiction by stealing meat and selling it in pubs in Swindon. He was referred to The Salvation Army’s rehab centre, Gloucester House in Swindon. He said, “I saw the hope sign above the door and felt that warm feeling. I was still on medication when I came so I was sort of detoxed here. I struggled physically for a bit, and emotionally, but it felt like home. It felt like finally, throughout all those years of using I had finally found a place where I could start afresh.”
Andy was so moved by his experience that he now works at Gloucester House, supporting other addicts recover and rediscover their lives.
The Salvation Army’s work
The Salvation Army has more than 800 community churches and social centres in the UK. The centres offer compassionate support and practical help. Activities include lunch clubs for older people, emergency food donations, night shelter drop-ins, playgroups for children debt advice, and employment services.