Update from the Board of Trustees
With the financial challenges being faced by many charities up and down the UK due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 the Board of Trustees have taken the difficult decision to furlough its CEO Paul Blakey as of Friday 5th June. CNI Network is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on the generous donations from projects and friends of CNI Network and from the talks and festivals Paul and other trustees are involved with. As the majority of festivals this summer have been cancelled and talks planned during this period also cancelled it has left us in a challenging position financially; we estimate at a £10k reduction in income during lockdown alone. We hope that by furloughing Paul now, we will be able to sustain the long term future of CNI Network. The board of trustees offer their thanks to Paul for coming to us with this recommendation in order to preserve the work we do.
Should any projects or individuals require any advice or support during this period our Trustees will be available to you. Please contact our Chair or Vice Chair of Trustees in the first instance.
Chair: Stuart Robertshaw - email@example.com
Vice Chair: Olivia Shaw - firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst on Furlough Paul will be taking some much deserved down time and will also be working on various non CNI Network ideas that he has not had time to fully invest to.
As a board we thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to CNI Network; if after reading this any projects or individuals would like to make a contribution to CNI Network they can do so via cninetwork.org/donate
Please pray over the next few weeks: for the CNI Network trustees in this critical time of supporting local projects beyond lockdown; for Paul and his wife Jean as they explore different ways of ministry. As a charity we acknowledge our thanks to the UK government furlough scheme which has ensured CNI Network and other charities and businesses can thrive within the new reality beyond the now.
June - Catherine Turnbull-Ross, Aylesbury Town Chaplaincy / Street Angels
Our Community Hero for June is Catherine Turnbull-Ross the Operations Manager for Aylesbury Town Chaplaincy which includes Aylesbury Street Angels.
A Chaplaincy for Aylesbury had an idea for several years among church leaders when a meeting with the Chaplain from Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy in 2010 became the catalyst to move from an idea to action.
Catherine tells the story, “Towards the end of 2010 I had resigned from my job and I attended a joint church meeting where the idea of setting up a Chaplaincy in Aylesbury was discussed.
“As the meeting was coming to an end a request was made for someone with organisational skills and time who could move the project to the next level.”
Rather like the ‘it could be you’ lottery advert with the pointing finger, Catherine believed that God was saying ‘it could be you’, and so once finished full time work she was given a blank piece of paper and worked with a couple of the Church leaders to take things forward. They spoke to various people including the local Police, councils, town centre agencies and church leaders to ensure support for the idea was there. She explains,
“The meeting with the Police was the most positive meeting I have ever been involved in.
“They could not wait for us to start both day and night-time.
“With this enthusiasm we had most churches in the town on board and the finances to be able to employ myself as Operations Manager and Mark Knight to oversee the Street Angels.”
The first year saw a handful of amazing volunteer Chaplains in the town centre visiting the local shops. The Further Education College approached us requesting a College Chaplain as did the Healthy Living Centre who wanted a Chaplain to be around during the Child Health Clinic to connect with parents of small children. Twelve Street Angels volunteers were also recruited and started during one of the coldest Aylesbury winters in years.
Catherine commented, “The Street Angels team built up relationships with licensees, doormen, Police and Paramedics who soon realised the project was not a flash in the pan but here for the long term, especially seeing volunteers willing to go out week after week in sub-zero temperatures.
“The chaplains get alongside people to get to know them.
“This gives people an opportunity to talk about the deeper things in life.”
Chaplains are now available in supermarkets, the Police Station, Local University Campus, the Courts, District Council offices and out and about around the town centre. Catherine values the volunteer team and sees these as the heart of all that Chaplaincy is.
“These amazing volunteers are getting alongside people, listening and being genuinely interested in people’s lives.
“Time is valuable and is one of the greatest things we can invest into others.
“We also signpost people to local and national organisations who can offer further support and have produced a card which has a list of agencies available to give to people so they can take it further if they wish.”
Currently there are twenty amazing Street Angel volunteers who go out on weekend evenings between 11pm and 3.30am. They offer a listening ear and more practical help such as hot drinks for the homeless, flip-flops for those who have hurt feet, finding a taxi and giving out thousands of lollies every year, mostly to door staff! The Street Angels are noted as having a calming community presence.
Aylesbury Town Chaplaincy also oversee the Healing on the Streets team who are available to offer prayer once a month for healing in mind, body and spirit. The Healing on the Streets benefits are welcomed by partner agencies such as the Town Centre Manager.
Catherine has really appreciated getting to know all those working for the good of the town such as Local Councils, Police, Town Centre Management and those who run the various festivals we have in our town.
“You don’t see that when you sit in your church building but thanks to the Chaplaincy the church is now a valued partner joining in with the great stuff that is happening here, working for the good and prosperity of the town.
“I must stress that the real community heroes are our amazing volunteers who invest a massive amount into the life and community of Aylesbury and those I have met from other Chaplaincy teams and night-time work through various networks.
"These show we are an international movement taking church and Jesus to where people are.”
At the moment none of the teams are operating normally due to coronavirus but Chaplaincy is available over the phone and volunteers are receiving on-line training to best support more evident areas of need once the lockdown is over, such as supporting those who are lonely and need someone to chat to and those who have had a bereavement during the last few weeks and not been able to attend the funeral or say goodbye.
Catherine concluded by saying that all the volunteers love taking the church outside of its own activity to be a blessing to the town.
“The strapline of Aylesbury Town Chaplaincy is ‘serving the heart of our town’ and that is something we have done over the last ten years and plan to do for many years to come.”
Various local projects are available to offer online or prerecorded talks during this lockdown - see this page for more details.
Donate to the work of CNI Network here
Street Angels - Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network:
Registered Charity 1136416 / Company Limited by Guarantee 07173090
All content and various brand names (C) CNI Network
Postal Address: CNI Network, The King's Centre, Park Rd, Halifax, HX1 2TS
(please note post will not be collected regularly during the current situation)
See message about furlough of our CEO and alternative email addresses
E-Mail: email@example.com (founder / CEO) / Phone: 07725501465