As the Church of Scotland London Advisory Service's project to support homeless and insecurely housed Scots in London, Borderline helps vulnerable Scots find a way forward by offering a range of services including access to accommodation, information, advice and support. It has four staff members and in the last year has seen and tried to help 1,700 clients. It needs an income of a quarter of a million pounds in order to do this. The trustees of COSLAS/ Borderline are appointed by St Columba's and Crown Court. The minister of St. Columba's is a trustee together with three members of the congregation.
West London Action for Children (WLAC)
West London Action for Children offers services which include counselling, therapy and group projects to help children in need and their families in the London Boroughs of Hammermith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. The children face a complex number of challenges that include poverty, poor housing, ill health, separation, every kind of abuse as well as developmental and family pressures. St Columba's has worked closely with WLAC for several decades providing support through fundraising events, financial and practical help. Volunteers are welcomed gratefully.
Christian Aid began life in 1945 as Christian Reconciliation in Europe, responding to the needs of refugees and churches in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War. In 1949 it became an integral part of the British Council of Churches (now CTBI) as the Department for the Inter-Church Aid and Refugee Service, becoming involved with world refugee settlement and justice issues. In 1964 the organisation changed its name to Christian Aid after its best known source of income, Christian Aid Week, which began in 1957. Since its inception Christian Aid has worked on long term development projects where the need is greatest, working with people and communities regardless of race or creed. Today it works in over 60 of the world's poorest countries. Each year in May as part of Christian Aid Week a team of approximately 20 members of the congregation of St Columba's join together to raise funds in the local area via street and railway station collections.
Lenten Appeal 2013 - Prisoners Families and Friends Service (PFFS)
The appeal this year is raising funds for a summer adventure holiday for 16 disadvantaged teenagers. You can read more about this by clicking here.
This organization is run by members of the congregation to arrange quarterly events or outings for the elderly members of our congregation and community. Recent activities have included a Christmas party, Spring Concert and tea, and a summer outing. To get more information or volunteer to help please contact James Blackwood.
Sunday Lunch Teams
Continuing a long tradition of hospitality a two-course lunch is served in the Lower Hall beginning at 12 Noon following Sunday morning worship. The price for lunch is £2.50. The lunch teams are composed of members of the congregation work on a bimonthly rotation. The teams are always looking for new volunteers, to get involved in a lunch team please contact Denise Haugh at firstname.lastname@example.org .
West London Churches Homeless Concern (WLCHC): Night Shelter
As part of the West London Churches Homeless Concern we will again be hosting a night shelter here at Pont Street each Sunday night for 12 weeks starting in the Autumn. We seek volunteers to join the team from St Columba's to provide active support to the homeless of London. A typical evening would require you to be there from 6pm to 9.30pm. Roles will include cooking, meeting, greeting and generally looking after our guests. We are looking for a pool of volunteers as we are aware that people will not be able to commit to volunteering every week. If you are interested in volunteering or would like any further information, please contact Judith Roberts on email@example.com or call 07973 202956.
West London Churches Homeless Concern Laundry Project is staffed and supported by several members of St Columba's. Volunteers are needed at the Laundrette Tuesday and Thursday daytime. For more information about the Laundry please contact Judith Roberts on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant Giving: The Benevolence Committee
The Benevolence Committee administers on behalf of the Kirk Session funds resulting from gifts, offerings and benefactions received by St Columba's specifically for benevolence purposes. Its origins go back to 1973. The largest fund, The Alexander Rose Memorial Fund, may be used to help Scots and people of Scottish descent, while other smaller funds have less restrictive trust deeds. The Committee's policy is primarily to make small one-off payments to assist with a specific problem rather than to enter into any long-term commitment. Grants are usually between £100 and £300, though we have occasionally joined forces with another charity such as the Royal Scottish Corporation for larger items such as a wheelchair.
Examples of help given include:
Essential furnishings for a new tenancy for the previously homeless
Help with redecoration costs following a period of illness or stress
Contribution to a convalescent stay or short holiday in cases of real need
Contribution to the fare to Scotland for a funeral or other family event
Financial help for students, such as fees or books
Replacement clothes for the elderly
The Committee meets quarterly. Application may be made by printing and completing this form and sending it to the Convenor of the Benevolence Committee, Church Office, St Columba's Church of Scotland, Pont Street, London SW1X 0BD.
All applications are treated in confidence.