The Salvation Army Bristol Citadel Corps is one of five Salvation Army churches in Bristol and for the last 30 years its Community and Family Centre has provided support for people in crisis, with a specific focus on homeless people. Since 2011 the centre has also proved specific and intense family support.
This Family Support Service running Tuesdays and Thursdays provides a food bank, clothing vouchers, internet access and a parent and toddlers group. Previously family support had little or no provision in the local area.
The food bank mainly gives to people who have been assessed as eligible and are referred to the service. We will provide families or individuals with up to five days worth of food, once a month. The aim is to tide people over in an emergency, rather than create dependency.
Not all our support happens in the centre either; we also have a Family Visitation Service, where volunteers will go out into the community to provide support to families which are registered with us, either through referral or through involvement in Salvation Army activities.
Every Thursday The Salvation Army also runs basic IT skills classes for the local community. This part of the Army’s work to support long-term unemployed people to overcome barriers to finding and sustaining work.
Stephen Williams MP said: “Ever since moving to Bristol in 1980s, I have been aware of the fantastic work that The Salvation Army does for those in our community who have fallen on tough times. I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Bristol Citadel corps today and hear first hand from Majors Ian and Tracey Mountford about the Family Services that they provide, and to meet a number of my constituents that were taking part in an IT skills class. The Salvation Army continues to be invaluable source of support for all those who ask for it, and I look forward to my next visit.”
Major Ian Mountford of the Bristol Citadel Salvation Army said: “We are pleased to show Steven Williams MP around our IT skills class. Through our Thursday classes teaching basic IT skills to local people, we are hoping to improve their employability. The class is just one of the services we provide to the local community. We are also currently fundraising to raise £1.5 millions for a rebuilding programme for the Community and Family Centre to enhance our services to the local community.
“We find ourselves increasingly supporting people in the local community who would otherwise fall through the gaps in society. We offer practical support, to help people help themselves out of their situation."