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On Sunday the 20th August I went to visit St Dunstan’s Church in Upton, this is one of two linked churches, the other is Lytchett Minster Parish Church.

The churches over the years have provided many volunteers to Routes to Roots and serve a lunch on the first Sunday of each month at The Genesis Centre. The food is provided by the churches with money being raised by their own fundraisers which includes a sleep out by the junior church once a year. On the third Sunday of each month a Sunday lunch is also provided by St Mary’s Catholic Church in Poole.

As I walked there eating dew drenched blackberries in the morning sunshine, I thought about what I was going to say to the congregation as I had two minutes during the service to tell people about The Pillar Programme and my role in comms at Routes to Roots.

A warm welcome was given and I realised I knew quite a few people, this helped with some anxiety I have in meeting lots of new people all at the same time.

As the service progressed and the sermon was given I realised my talk was about me and that I had a chance to make it more about the people in front of me. In the couple of minutes available it became an impassioned thank you to all at both churches.

A thank you for all the fundraising, time and volunteers to provide a Sunday lunch on the first Sunday of the month.

I got a little emotional while talking about what it means to me; a person with nothing, not realising that others would both understand my feelings but also my emotions.

After the service and a good cup of coffee in my hand, I received many thanks for my little talk and that I shared what it meant to me, also thanks for taking time to come and visit the church and the congregation.

Jeff, one of our amazing volunteers had me show many people my art work and their reactions made my day.

So two great churches and a really welcoming congregation that give people like me both food and a sense of worth.

Thank you all.


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I would like to tell you all about one of our volunteers that helps service users with all sorts of IT problems or just helps them negotiate the twisted paths of universal credit, rent bills and ongoing price increases with energy suppliers.


Neil’s background is in retail originally, working for many years with well known high-street retailers, until retirement.

Neil has volunteered for ten years with Routes to Roots, first at Skinner Street and now here at the Genesis Centre. Neil helped with cooking and serving food at Skinner Street and now helps with IT at the Genesis Centre.

Neil also restocks the ladies and gents clothing rails while he is here – a wonderful thing to do as a clean pair of socks or a tooth brush and a clean item of clothing can make a big difference to someone’s day.

Neil also is part of parkrun at Upton House on a Saturday, which is an all inclusive outdoor activity for almost all ages, he often tells me about it and what happens there.

And lastly he gives time to, I think a great service called READ EASY. This organisation teaches adults to read and write in a way that helps keep dignity for the individual, from nothing to being able to read and write in about six months.

I enjoy my Wednesday morning chats with him as I sort out the art materials for the afternoon art group and have watched him help some people with form filling and universal credit issues in a calm and gentle way.

I think the volunteers here are some of the best I have ever come across, Neil is one of them.


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The Poole Pirates’ Speedway Captain sent a heartfelt message to his fans.

We were overwhelmed by the Speedway community’s generosity as they brought bags and bags of essential donations to Steve Worrall’s recent testimonial.
Steve had asked his supporters to bring donations after he visited the Genesis Centre earlier in the year and it had a profound impact on him

Worrall said: “After the postponement of my original testimonial date, I went to their HQ in Poole to donate the food from the night’s buffet, and I must say it left a big impression on me.

“It really got me thinking about if there was anything further I could do to help this amazing charity and the thought struck.

“I asked the guys if there was anything they were struggling with, donations wise, and there are a few bits and pieces they could use a little extra help with.

“I honestly can’t explain the impact that just one visit had on me, to see so many vulnerable people who need help and how happy that buffet made them.”

We cannot thank Steve, his team and his family enough for the incredible support and generosity they have shown.