Some good news, FSW has appointed one full time and six part time Practitioners to work in the Diocese starting in May. The new Practitioners will be working in the Deaneries of Battle and Bexhill, Cuckfield, Dallington, Horsham (x2), Hurst and Rotherfield. This now means we are active in 19 of the 21 deaneries in the Diocese. This continued growth is thanks to the hard work of many local fundraisers as well as some generous support from grant making charities. All of the posts are for a minimum of two years.

We are also in a position that we can offer support to Ukrainian refugee families as they arrive in the Diocese, should they need the help and support in settling into their new life in Sussex. If you become aware of a family needing support, please do contact Garton House to make a referral, with the family’s agreement of course.

In March the 13 Practitioners were working hard by supporting 404 adults and 379 children with direct help. This was undertaken through 248 face to face visits and 534 phone calls and other electronic communications. From the food bank we made 176 deliveries of food support and our family grant scheme supported 6 families as well as a number of grants to help with fuel bills. We ran 34 support groups in the month and over 600 individuals attended at least one of them

FSW is a team and as you read this and pray for our work, you too are a part of the team that sustains us and keeps us going and we are very grateful for your constant support.

Not all of our work relates to deprivation or fuel and food poverty. Our Practitioners are very skilled with lots of experience in other areas, recently one of them supported Jack an 11 year old boy. Jack’s story follows:

“Jack’s mum died from cancer 8 months ago.  Following her death, he moved to live with his dad in East Sussex where he has started a new school and has had to settle into a new life altogether.  Jack’s school asked me to offer the family some support. Jack was struggling to accept the new role his dad’s partner has in their lives which was causing conflict in the family.

I met with Jack weekly in school, first building trust with him as he was very protective of his feelings about his mother.  Over the next few sessions I supported Jack to explore his feelings, understand the impact of grief in his life and recognise the coping skills and support he has.  At the last session Jack said he had enjoyed being able to share memories about his mum and was proud to see how well he was doing.  He also said that things with his dad’s partner were much better.

Jack’s dad sent the following text “I just wanted to say thank you for all you done for Jack, you really have helped him.  Many thanks”

Martin Auton-Lloyd FRSA, CEO