Most deprived area in England gets new Day Centre and Community Hub

A project is about to start in one of the most deprived areas in England to upgrade a church’s facilities, allowing services for the homeless to expand and providing a better environment to serve the needs of young families and community groups in the area.

The project, which has been supported by grant funding from Allchurches Trust and the Methodist Insurance Fund, will enable Trinity Methodist Church, Clacton, to expand its current outreach programmes by offering a day centre. This will create a safe hub in order to continue its work among children and young families whilst providing much needed facilities for the homeless; including washing facilities and a training kitchen where clients can learn life skills.

The church is located on the doorstep of what is often considered to be the most deprived village in England, just east of the Jaywick area of Clacton on Sea. The seaside resort was seen as a haven for those seeking a better future, only for people to find little there once they had arrived.

Paul Playford, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: “Clacton is an area with extensive deprivation and the well-tended public gardens and attractive properties close to the seafront hide many social problems. I was informed that whilst in prison, some offenders are told that Clacton is the place to go on release because there are lots of jobs and plentiful accommodation. Neither point is true.”

Trinity Methodist Church is tackling the growing issue of homelessness and poverty in the area alongside the Salvation Army and other local churches. It provides a hearty meal weekly in collaboration with a charity, Food Cycle, called the ‘Grub Club’ and also offers family support groups and counselling services. In addition it offers tea and toast, once a week, in the morning, where clients can access help on housing problems, among others. This will be expanded to being open for the homeless and vulnerable five days a week. The church also lends its facilities to a local Women’s Institute group, Karate and Kung-Fu classes as well as a toddler group and a space to host language classes.

Tendring Circuit Manager, Colin Tucker, who is involved in managing the finances of the project, said: “By giving the church a purpose and a mission in the community, we are hoping that the church will once again be seen as relevant.”

Allchurches Trust has a passion for helping those most in need and supporting projects in deprived areas. It has supported this project with a grant of £8,500.

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