– Simon, formerly homeless and a guest at the Wild Goose
For many people like Simon, the Wild Goose drop-in centre is somewhere they can rely on in hard times for a warm welcome, food, support and love. But after eight years of heavy use, the building is in urgent need of refurbishment, and could face unplanned closures for emergency repairs. We need to take action this spring so that people like Simon have somewhere they can count on when winter comes.
The refurbishments will cost £150,000, and will only be possible with your help. Together we can provide somewhere safe and welcoming for people like Simon who rely on the Wild Goose every day.
Around 10,000 people like Simon have been welcomed into the Wild Goose since we moved to Stapleton Road eight years ago. People who are homeless and vulnerable come in for a hot meal, and we engage with them to offer further practical help and support, and help them back to independent living.
In fact, over one million hot meals have been service since being here. It’s a testament to the amazing support of our donors and volunteers. The Wild Goose – and Crisis Centre Ministries – wouldn’t exist without them.
But, having served so many people, the building is in urgent need of attention. The main refurbishment work is needed downstairs, in the kitchen and in the dining space, where our guests sit and eat together. But there’s work needed upstairs too – in our volunteers’ room, our offices and our meeting rooms, where our Engagement team meets 1:1 with our guests. These rooms also include our Life Recovery project, which guides and supports people in their recovery from addiction and trauma.
We’ve carried out routine maintenance in order to keep the Wild Goose open so far. But we’re getting close to the point where, if more substantial works aren’t carried out, we’ll have unplanned closures for repairs until we have funds to get the full job done. This can be particularly hard on people like Simon, especially during the colder months when people struggle to find anywhere else to shelter from the harsh weather during the day.
That’s why we need to carry out essential refurbishment works as soon as the weather gets warmer – so we can be open consistently this coming winter. The scale of the works will mean a temporary closure, but by doing everything in one go and liaising with other services in the city, we can minimize the impact this has on our guests.
There is a schedule of works that need doing, including tackling pervasive damp problems, replacing rotten flooring, overhauling our washrooms, replacing rotten windows, improving our CCTV and making our offices and meeting rooms fit for purpose. Above all, it’s about the need for a safe, welcoming environment for marginalised and vulnerable people in Bristol. Your donation will help provide that for years to come.
Eight years ago, when the Wild Goose moved here from a small café on City Road, passionate supporters like you helped to raise the £375,000 necessary to transform the building from a run-down pub into a welcoming drop-in centre. Once again, your support will ensure that those who are homeless and vulnerable have a place where they can be welcomed in for a hot meal, hot showers, laundry, companionship, and offered the support needed so that they can restore their own lives, and regain a sense of hope.
The total estimated cost for these essential refurbishments is £150,000. It’s not cheap, but it’s what is required to make sure that the Wild Goose and the rest of Carpenter House is able to remain open unhindered during the coming winter, and keeps its doors open for Bristol’s vulnerable in the uncertain years ahead. We’ve allocated £15,000 of our own reserves, but it’s only with your help that we’ll reach the target.
If there are other ways in which you think you can help, please get in touch with us. For example, your company might be able to sponsor some of the refurbishment. Every donation, big or small, will make a difference for years to come. Each one will help provide a safe and welcoming place of hope for vulnerable and homeless people in Bristol.
Please know that we do not take your regular support for granted. In whichever way you can help, we’d be extremely grateful, as would the people who rely on the Wild Goose every day. As another former homeless service user told us, “You stopped us from being hungry, and we now have accommodation. You do not realise the impact you have.”
Please give as you are able to keep the Wild Goose open for those who need us most.