URC reports successful Carol Service to support Taunton Homeless

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Wow! What an evening! With deep gratitude we thank Curry Rivel Village, those Village associations and groups, individuals and families who supported the congregation of Curry Rivel United Reformed Church at their Charity Carol Service on Friday 14th December 2018..

Supporting ARC (formerly Taunton Association for the Homeless) and their Christmas Shoebox Appeal we had reached out to you, our community, inviting you to join us for the evening bringing with you gifts for those supported by ARC in Taunton. We were thrilled by your response. Packed to the rafters and almost overflowing our little chapel played host — leading the singing of carols, the reading of the Christmas narrative of the homeless couple taking shelter in a barn (the connection between the Christmas story and our charity of choice too obvious to mention!), providing mulled wine and seasonal nibbles and we hope a warm welcome to you all.

Justin Roxburgh, ARC's CEO, was also able to attend and provided a clearer insight into the inspirational support ARC provides for its clients; from a bed for the night, to educational provision, development of social skills, support with form filling, employment or benefit applications, explanation of and support with tenancy responsibility and, as a landlord itself, providing affordable and appropriate housing. Some of the statistics provided were sobering and challenging; the ethos of ARC — highlighting and working with an individual's strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses — was inspiring.

Through the kindness of your hearts we were able to transport 53 gift filled shoeboxes (this count does not include the Christmas gift bags, clothes, blankets, duvet and pillow sets, toiletries and sundries also donated!) and forward just over £300 to ARC for their continuing work. Thank you so much for your generosity.

Postscript: a number of folk expressed an interest in volunteering time and skills on a more regular basis, Justin suggests the easiest way of doing this is contacting ARC through their Facebook page or website.

From Alison Reed Richards
& Curry Rivel URC Congregation.

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