Celebrating the work of a charity that helps give people a better story
CrossReach, one of Scotland’s largest social care providers, celebrates its work next week with a series of special events across the country to raise awareness of the charity’s work.
Formerly known as the Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility, CrossReach continues the Church of Scotland’s long tradition of providing care and support for the most vulnerable in society.
The aim of CrossReach Week is to promote the diverse work of CrossReach, celebrate staff and service users and raise money to enable projects who receive no statutory funding such as the Sunflower Garden, based in Edinburgh, helping children and their families affected by drug and alcohol misuse.
CrossReach services need support from private money to carry on their work, for example, the Sunflower Garden Project needs £50 an hour to support each child.
The story of CrossReach is about people, supporting them and, in many cases, turning their lives around. Whether it is the support provided at residential schools such as Geilsland or addiction support groups, postnatal depression services, or homes for older people, the story of CrossReach is about the people it helps. CrossReach employs more than 2000 staff across Scotland with funding from local authorities as well as relying on donations and legacies.
As a result of local authority funding cuts in the last two years, CrossReach is facing a financial challenge in continuing its vital work and giving people a better story. To that end, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Albert Bogle, has launched a “Moderator’s Challenge” encouraging people to think about ways of helping raise funds to enable CrossReach continue helping support those who rely on its services.
The Moderator has given CrossReach a week of his time and from Sunday, Mr Bogle, will be raising awareness about the organisation’s work as well as meeting staff and users, in a series of visits across Scotland.
Peter Bailey, CrossReach’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The staff and members of the Social Care Council (CrossReach) are delighted and greatly encouraged by the fact that the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is spending a week of his time with us. We have a full and exciting programme arranged, during which he will visit services, meet staff and service users as well as supporters and partners. The week will be a great opportunity to celebrate and promote the work CrossReach does across Scotland.”
A service celebrating the work of CrossReach on Sunday begins the week with Mr Bogle preaching at Dalziel St Andrew’s Church, Motherwell, which will be streamed live from 5pm. The service will also include the premier performance of an anthem composed specially for CrossReach called, “Bring me in,” by children and young people. Copies of the anthem will be available on CD at £3 and all profits from the sale will go towards CrossReach.
Mr Bogle said: “CrossReach does such good work. That is why I have given my time this week in helping raise awareness of CrossReach’s work and the services it provides. I fully commend CrossReach to people and encourage them to help by doing what they can. We are motivated to serve others because of the grace and love of God shown us by Jesus Christ. It empowers us to love and serve one another in His name. Jesus’s love and compassion moves us to reach out to those in need, the marginalised, the frail and elderly, the poor and the hurting and the disadvantaged. CrossReach’s work is vital.”
Also supporting CrossReach Week is Neil Forbes, chef director at Edinburgh’s Cafe St Honoré and Scottish Chef of the Year 2011. The chef is a keen supporter of the work CrossReach does with young people and has invited three pupils from Ballikinrain and Geilsland Schools to his restaurant’s kitchen to prepare and make a bespoke buffet for the Moderator, and his invited guests, with the aim of helping them achieve further life skills and improve employability, as well as creating recipes based on the buffet to be recreated at home and other places for CrossReach fundraising activities.
The chef has also given his time to join youngsters in baking bread and making jam as part of an event to launch a Children’s “Conversation” to help improve the lives of children across Scotland.
Neil Forbes said: “I am delighted to offer my support to CrossReach and take part in their week. Food is about more than just easing our body’s hunger, it’s about our emotional hunger too and it brings us together. For me, bread is at the heart of everything. It’s the simplest of recipes, a gift in its purest form. When you make bread or any dish, it becomes an extension of yourself, there’s emotion in what you do and what you give to people. There’s love in each loaf and giving it to people to eat is one of the nicest gifts I think we can give each other. Breaking and sharing bread together with our friends and families is one of the most precious things we can do. For me, the whole ethos of CrossReach’s work can be summed up in bread. I fully encourage everyone, young and old, to get behind CrossReach and support them in their valuable work across Scotland.”