A Church of England charity, which has helped around 360 families from Barnsley, need help achieving their donation challenge before the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.
The Archbishop of York’s charity, Acts 435, has challenged itself to clear all the submitted requests in its ‘children’ category between the 9th and 15th November to coincide with the BBC’s annual appeal on Friday the 13th November.
Acts 435 currently has around 43 requests in the category and need over £3,700 to complete all requests, with needs ranging from baby provisions for new mothers in sheltered accommodation to furniture needed by mothers fleeing domestic violence with their children.
Executive Director of Acts 435, Jenny Herrera, says, “Children in Need reminds us every year of the difficulties many children face.
“We want to focus specifically on children in need through running this appeal and hope donors who have been fantastic in their generosity will support UK children in this direct way.”
Fr Paul Cartwright, Vicar of St Peter’s Church, Barnsley, says, “We are so grateful for this opportunity to bring some additional support to help children in crisis in our community.
“The charity is tremendously important and is a great way in which our parishes can minister to the needy.
“Often it is by doing the things which appear so small to us that other lives are massively transformed.”
Over 3.7 million children live in poverty across the UK and Acts 435 is aiming to help as many as possible through this challenge.
The charity helps people in need all across the country, young and old, by working with local churches and charities who know of those in need throughout their communities.
A representative from a local church or charity will post a request of help on the Acts 435 website outlining the problem that their client faces while maintaining their privacy.
Requests can vary from people desperately needing money for housing and bill payments, to furniture, food, clothes or childcare provision, among countless other requestsof help for basic amenities and services.
People who wish to donate to Acts 435 can search through the list of requests and donate directly to the causes that they wish to fund – and 100% of the donation will go to those seeking help.
Fr Cartwright says, “St Peter’s became involved after I had seen a presentation whilst at a Diocesan away weekend for clergy from UPA parishes where we talked about poverty.
“Jenny [Herrera, Executive Director] came along to talk about a new charity which was looking at being rolled out across the county, and ministering in Barnsley, it seemed a natural thing to become involved in.”
Through Acts 345, over £31,805 has been donated to around 360 families, including over 200 vulnerable children, in need who have sought help from the charity through St Peter’s Church in the past four years.
Fr Cartwright says, “Acts 435 has made a tremendous difference to families in my parish, from supporting homeless people moving into properties, to helping families raise funds to send their children on school trips and, on one occasion, to help out in a hospice for children in Romania.
“St Peter’s has tried to look at the way in which it works with Acts 435 and it was decided that we would have a greater effect within our community by partnering with our local Children Centres.
“The Children's Centres have been able to make referrals directly, and this has helped to identify those who really are in urgent need.”
He mentions, “I've become an advocate for the Acts 435 project in that I'm always trying to find other parishes to become involved with it - I suppose we were one of the first if not the first to partner with Children Centres in this way.”
The charity was set up in 2009 by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, and since then over £175,000 has gone directly to those in need.
Fr Cartwright says, “Acts 435 was inspired by the works of the early church, as described in the Acts 4:32 to 4:35.
“The early disciples of the risen Christ shared their possessions, and passed money to the apostles to give to anyone who had need.
“It is a simple way in which those who are able to help can give immediate need to those in our communities.”
For more information on Acts 435 or to donate to one of those in need, please visit their website here: http://acts435.org.uk/