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Karis Neighbour Scheme

Continuing this blog series on missional project I want to look at Karis Neighbour Scheme a local organisation that we are working in partnership with.

Karis Neighbour Scheme serves the people of Ladywood a deprived inner city area of Birmingham. Whatever the need people from the area are welcome to pop in to their offices in the Church of the Redeemer for a chat. You can also apply to volunteer for them to help meet others needs or sign up to give regular donations.

So what do they actually do?

Karis focus is on serving the local community. It is known to be working hard to alleviate some of the effects of poverty in the area by for instance giving out food parcels for those in need or offering a free advocacy service. There are many people that we know that have been helped by them in many ways – even if it is just by gaining a support network through going to one of their many community groups. A number of asylum seekers and refugees and others new to the county have benefited from the free ESOL classes that Karis run. There are others who sound very pleased and satisfied to take part in community allotment that Karis have organised. We know a number of people who have enjoyed volunteering – by for example doing some DIY or gardening for others – and also fund-raising for Karis, knowing that what they are doing is having a real impact on the community.

What do I think of them?

Karis is a well respected charity in the area and I think they are doing a wonderful job. So if you live in the Ladywood area it is an ideal organisation to get involved with. I have found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. Karis are very good at understanding the needs of the area and are very aware of all the provision that already exists.

Their aim is not to duplicate provision and they are excellent at signposting people to other organisations that can help if for any reason they can’t provide the help needed. They’ve been great in working with us with our project of WorkShop the local job club that we run every Thursday morning.

Are they a Christian charity?

Karis was initially aided in its set up by a number of local churches and has continued to have a good relationship with them. If people want to chat about faith or ask for prayer they are very open to that but they are certainly not there to preach at people. As primarily a Christian organisation Karis aims to serve the community in the name of Jesus offering a listening hear and practical help. Of course Karis’s help is available to all regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs.

How can I be involved?

If you want to volunteer then you can complete an application form on their website and subject to suitable references and a CRB check you could soon be part of the team serving this area doing a bit of gardening or DIY or by befriending or advocacy or even raising funds for Karis. You can make yourself available for as little as an hour or two a week or much more if you want to.

Also when you do your shopping why not buy a few more tins than you need and if you are passing by pop them into Karis’s store cupboard for them to give out as food parcels to those in need?

If you are looking for a charity to support by a regular donation Karis Neighbour Scheme is well worth considering.

January 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm
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