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Give hope at Christmas 

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A message from our Chair of Trustees, Peter Heywood
As we move towards Christmas and the end of the year, I think we can all safely say that 2020 didn’t pan out as anyone had hoped or planned. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented each and every one of us with challenges and may continue to do so for some time yet. 

During 2020 the Genesis Trust reached the incredible milestone of 25 years since it was officially registered as a charity, and nearly 30 years since the beginning of the Soup Run.

When I sat at home in early 1995 filling out forms to register our simple idea with the Charity Commission I could never have dreamed of how much growth would happen and how the Genesis Trust would turn into such a vital organisation serving the people of Bath. We started feeding those who were hungry and crisis support still remains at the heart of what we do today. Over the years we have broadened the range of people we help and the way in which we offer our support. Our Christian faith/inspiration has kept us going as we have grown and developed.

The Genesis Trust has enabled me to have many interactions with different people over the years and I feel honoured to have played a small part in their lives. I have always been motivated to help others and truly believe that when we offer help we actually receive more than we give. In the early days I particularly remember a time when a client called me from a phone box after being taken ill. He collapsed before being able to tell me where he was. So, I hopped in my car and started driving around the city looking for him. Thankfully I managed to find him and get him to the RUH for the treatment he urgently needed.

Perhaps one of things I feel most proud about is the way in which the whole Genesis team including staff, volunteers, churches and supporters all treat our clients as individuals. We truly believe that everyone is unique and the way in which we structure our projects reflects this. This is probably most apparent at the Lifeline Centre where our team offers crisis provision and builds relationships with clients in order to offer them longer term, more substantial, personalised support.
We have managed to continue supporting our homeless and vulnerable clients via the Lifeline Centre throughout 2020 and that means we have continued to serve some of the most marginalised in our local community. The way in which we have offered support has changed and developed through the pandemic but helping people to work through crisis and emerge with hope in their lives has remained.

I want to thank everyone who has played a part in Genesis over the years. Those who have volunteered their time, those who have donated money, services and spaces to use and those who have worked with us. We could not have achieved this much without you.

As I look to 2021 I am saddened to think that there are still homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged people living in our city who need our support and the numbers of people needing our help are likely to increase as a result of the pandemic. But, I know that together we can continue to make a difference and help people find new beginnings and better futures.

I would like to ask you to consider making a gift to the Genesis Trust this Christmas to help our clients who visit the Lifeline Centre live their lives with hope.

Thank you
Sir Peter Heywood
Founder and Chair of Trustees | Genesis Trust

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