On Tuesday, 2 April 2019 an eager and interested group of Catholic Care Trustees, including Bishop Marcus who is Chair of Trustees, Maureen Fletcher, Sue Rix and Vivienne Birch spent a morning of discovery as they visited a variety of projects in the community run by Catholic Care.
First stop was the Friendship Group at St Peter and Paul’s in Yeadon. The group welcomed us with open arms and were so friendly. The buzz of chatter around the room was joyous to hear as the members enjoyed coffee and cake. There was a challenging game of indoor curling. Carol Hill (Director of Catholic Care) and Maureen Fletcher had a try but the regulars were too well-practised and with great hilarity won the games easily.
All too soon it was time to move on.
The next stop for the group was the Gianna Project which supports mothers and their babies in difficult circumstances. This Project was established in 2011 and since that time has supported more than 550 families with items from the ‘baby bank’ and much-needed practical and emotional support. Many families accessing the Gianna Project are experiencing very challenging circumstances, sometimes fleeing violence and newly-arrived in the UK, so are in need of support and understanding. The team, including Eileen Holland O’Malley who has been with the project from its inception, were delighted to welcome the Trustees to the project’s new base in Bradford where they will be able to keep stock for the baby bank and see families in the friendly meeting space.
The guests enjoyed meeting some of the families that have benefitted from Gianna services who came along with their babies to join the celebration.
Bishop Marcus led a short and moving service of blessing for the Project in its new premises. The scripture reading was taken from John’s Gospel: ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’. This is totally apt for the Gianna Project. After the visit Bishop Marcus himself said how moved he was by this project.
The final visit of the day was to the St William’s Friendship and Lunch Club in Bradford. Here Trustees enjoyed a delicious lunch and some very interesting conversations with the members. Carol Hill was enthralled with her chat to a couple who had been married for over 70 years and had more than a couple of memories to share. The group were looking forward to their Easter lunch where 75 members will gather and be served by staff from Morrison’s, supporters of the Group.
A very full and informative morning was enjoyed by all. Thank you to all for making us feel so welcome.
Catholic Care Trustees
For more information on the work of Catholic Care in the Diocese of Leeds, visit their website: www.catholic-care.org.uk/