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Horribly wet outside on Wednesday but safe and warm inside the Genesis Centre.

The Routes to Roots art group had two new participants join us after hearing about the group from another service.

Another new person sat by themselves with a colouring book and that is OK, when I first joined an art group I sat with headphones on by myself and just explored the materials and paints.

I always remember the artist running the group left me to my own devices until I was confident enough to ask for help and advice.

That artist became my inspiration to become a better artist and her gentle encouragement led me to become a support worker in a very large project run by a museum.

With paint and pencils and various types of paper and some books for inspiration, the fear of not being able to draw or paint is reduced.

A fun relaxed atmosphere and gentle encouragement lets participants express themselves in a non judgemental environment.

Also I believe lots of laughter made the afternoon fly by.

Laughter and art made for a good afternoon.


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Pat Southgate, a founder Trustee of Routes to Roots (R2R) was recently invited to the Royal Motor Yacht Club (RMYC) in Sandbanks. A surprise party was being held for Richard, the chief steward at the club, to celebrate his 60th birthday.

As well as having a significant birthday, Richard had just completed a charity bike ride around the Isle of Wight together with 5 friends to raise funds for R2R which is the chosen charity of the RMYC for the next 3 years. At the start of the evening Richard was very proud to present Pat with a cheque for £5,560 in support of the work of R2R and said that he expected this would not be the final total.

A huge thank you to Richard and all the RMYC members present who had provided donations, for their continued generous support. Pat has invited Richard to visit R2R at the Genesis Centre whenever he wanted to and also extended this to the members present. She also took the opportunity to appeal for volunteers to help at the lunch time drop-ins.

📸 Pictured with the presentation cheque are; from L-R Graham Turner who is the Commodore of RMYC, his wife Julie (a huge thank you to them both for choosing R2R as their charity), Pat and Richard.

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Andrew, who is taking over communications for Routes to Roots as part of The Pillar Programme, describes what your donations mean to him and those sleeping on the streets.


Autumn is here and the crisp mornings are making themselves felt, too soon winter will be with us. 

So a time to plan and get ready for the winter months. 

I recently received a great sleeping bag from a very generous person who showed great foresight in his choice of much needed items of which my sleeping bag was just one item he gave Routes to Roots. 

It’s hard to express my feelings about that gift and also the many items donated to this amazing place. 

All things donated are important even the very smallest; from a toothbrush and toothpaste to razors, deodorant and shower products to items of clothing, socks and underwear. All things can help in some way and can make someone happy. 

To give and make a difference seems a small thing but is really important to those that need your help. 

In a normal week I can get a shower and wash my clothes allowing me to both keep clean but also keep my self esteem and if I am lucky a nice pair of socks to keep my feet warm. 

The items donated help rough sleepers both with staying clean and warm and the food available each day helps us on our journey. Hopefully the services available at Routes to Roots and the agencies that are here during the week can help people to find a new direction or a place to stay. 

So time to ask for help from those that can. 

Can you donate to Routes to Roots?

Every small item is important and well received. 

You can find a list of items here that would be very helpful to us service users -you can really help make someone’s day in the same way that gentleman’s donation of a sleeping bag helped me. 

Many thanks.