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I hope you are keeping well during these extraordinary times. 

I am delighted to welcome you to our first e-Newsletter which will provide regular updates on all the good things that Routes to Roots is doing for Poole’s vulnerably housed. The newsletter also gives us an opportunity to acknowledge and thank all the wonderful organisations and individuals who have provided us with their time, donations and grants, without which we could not exist. 

We are blessed to have a dedicated team of volunteers and Trustees who tirelessly give their time and passion to make sure we achieve our long-term vision. 

As many of you will know, work has now started on the renovation of our dedicated new drop-in facility in Hill Street. At Routes to Roots, we are very excited about the prospect of having a permanent and exclusive outreach centre for the very first time! We look forward to updating you on the progress of the work as we work towards opening.

I really hope you enjoy reading our first issue and we look forward to sharing all the exciting developments of our Hill Street renovations as they progress.

Warmest wishes

Revd. Pat Southgate

Chairman, Routes to Roots

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As the council’s Covid-19 emergency accommodation provision wound down and more rough sleepers started taking to the streets again, our drop-in sessions at the Skinner Street United Reformed Church re-opened on 1stJuly after more than three months of closure due to the pandemic. 

The drop-ins are vital in providing our clients with regular nourishment and outreach from our experienced team of volunteers. In July we welcomed back a total of 45 clients and served 133 takeaway lunches. 

The sessions run every weekday between 1.30 and 2.30. Due to government guidelines, we are currently only able to serve take-away lunches through a hatch in the main hall. Showers and toilets remain closed and we will keep you updated as this changes.

We would like to say a huge thank you to our local Asda and their Community Champion Rona for donating some much-needed suntan lotion, food and water for our rough sleeping clients. 

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Our Hill Street project management team have drawn up some exciting and ambitious plans to transform the former Baptist Church into a special place from which to help Poole’s vulnerably housed achieve lasting positive change in their lives. 

We are delighted to announce that we have now received approval for these plans and have been granted Listed Building Consent.

The new layout incorporates important facilities such as showers, toilets and a laundry in addition to dedicated areas where clients will receive 1-1 support from outreach workers for addiction and mental health support and access to nurses, chiropodists and housing and benefit advisors.

The first of our pews at Hill Street have been removed and this is an exciting milestone in the transformation of our building! We still have a few one-ended pews available if you are interested. Ross (pictured) can help remove and restore them. His contact details are available from our office.