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Tzedakah in the Spotlight

Thanks to your support of the 2020 Kol Nidrei appeal we were able to support the Stephen Lawrence Trust in their aim to help the most disadvantaged secondary school students across the UK.

As part of the 2020 Kol Nidrei appeal our Youth members nominated The Stephen Lawrence Trust and your donations made a real difference.

Your help meant that the programmes team at Blueprint for All (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) has been able to continue supporting the most disadvantaged secondary students from schools in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Our work with the most disadvantaged students was massively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and closures of school doors. With support from this appeal we were able to have greater staff capacity dedicated to extending and tailoring our support so that students who were now based at home could receive resource packs, video resources and support whilst at home. We continued to work with over 90 students across the 3 regions.

With the additional challenge of students learning from home for a portion of this school year, your generous support enabled us to innovatively work with partners to develop ‘remote work experience’ packs that will give students opportunities to participate in necessary and COVID safe work-experience so that we continue to reduce the disparity of opportunity. Thank you for your generous support, from the full Blueprint for All programmes team and wider staff team and board of trustees.

For Pesach 2020, NNLS chose Depaul as one of our charities, here we hear from Tony about the impact that your support has had on his team and on youth homelessness.

The last few months, along with everyone else, have been incredibly difficult for our charity.

As I’m sure you can imagine the main reason for youth homelessness is family breakdown & the pressure that lockdown, loss of employment, strain on finances etc. has put on the family unit has seen an increase in the number of young people accessing our services and at the same time a lot of normal funding streams have dried up.

The fantastic donation from New North London Synagogue has allowed us to keep our services running, such as our sheltered accommodation, helped us to run hotels during lockdown whilst our Nightstop service has been difficult to run, Progression Coaches to work alongside young people to help them with their mental health & to empower them to live independently.

One of the main things your donation has helped us to continue, if only virtually during lockdown, is our family mediation work.  Our mediation services can bring families back together, improve lines of communication and ultimately prevent homelessness. Which over the past few months has been more important than ever.

With staff illness and self-isolation, our teams are overstretched while young homeless people have never needed our help more. So your donation has enabled us to provide additional staffing for our mediation & mental health teams, PPE & tech to provide virtual support to our vulnerable young people.

We will continue to work hard to raise the funds to keep these young people safe so the support of NNLS has been invaluable and I can’t thank you enough, but more importantly the people we support thank you.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I will be able to visit you to thank you in person & give you more detail of our work & how you donation has helped.

Tony Packwood
Depaul UK

uk.depaulcharity.org

On the 18th of November we set off for our second "processing combat experiences cruise".

15 young IDF veterans were invited. The first stage was a four  hour cruise from Herzilyia Marina. We set out to sea with the crew and Eyal Bihler our therapist.

The objective of the first stage is to get everyone in an open environment, well away from day to day pressures and to help everyone relax and feel comfortable with one another.

After arriving back in Herzilyia, everyone sat down to eat a meal prepared as a donation by a local chef. We then sat down in a circle and talked.

For most of the veterans this was the first time they had the courage to speak openly about their experiences in the IDF. The cruise and the atmosphere which had been created gave them a chance to begin to open up, hear the stories of other veterans and how they are dealing with post-army issues and feel comfortable about sharing their individual experiences.

The final stage of the session was to explain to the veterans the variety of different therapeutic options which are available to help. Over the next few months they will all receive follow up calls from Soul Talk to help them continue moving forward towards dealing with issues including face to face meetings, contacts from the relevant organisations and most importantly, to help them to understand that they are not alone in this process.

In addition to the cruises, on the 19th December Soul Talk funded a 3 day processing workshop for an additional group of IDF veterans which included talks, yoga and swimming with dolphins. Another opportunity to make a positive change in the lives of those suffering from PSTD issues.

Thank you again for supporting us and helping make this possible.

Thanks to the very generous support of the NNLS from the 2020 Pesach appeal we have been able to be there and offer bereavement counselling for the ever-increasing number of people who have sadly suffered a bereavement, particularly this past year. During the pandemic, the number of referrals has trebled, and we have had to transfer all counselling, whether 1:1 or support groups, to be held on online.

JBCS provides bereavement counselling to individuals, children, young people, families and support groups who have experienced a death within the family and community such as Covid-19, suicide, murder, accident or illness.  Whoever the bereaved person is and whenever the bereavement occurred, they can talk in confidence to a volunteer professional who is impartial, non-judgmental and has specific expertise. People like Millie have so benefitted from the service that JBCS provides:

Millie aged 81 was found by her daughter slumped in her armchair. She had taken an overdose of her prescribed drugs. Her husband of nearly 60 years had died suddenly from a heart attack 3 months previously and life did not seem worth living anymore. Millie found the loneliness and her own disabilities so overwhelming that her 2 daughters and grandchildren were not enough to fill the void. A JBCS counsellor has been working with Millie now for over a year. Millie has cried, grieved and spent time talking about her innermost feelings – things she couldn’t tell her children.

During this time, Millie has started seeing a light at the end of an extremely dark tunnel. Her depression and sense of such a deep loss has started to lift. She will always miss her husband but through expert counselling a sense of purpose has been rediscovered.

Your help means that we can continue the service we offer to bereaved members across the Jewish community, particularly during these unprecedented times of collective trauma and to be there for those who are struggling with their own personal trauma of bereavement.

Please spare a few minutes to watch a couple of films showing the impact our JBCS counsellors can have at this link.

We can be contacted by calling 020 8951 3881 or by email

For further information, please visit our website

Fri, 25 June 2021 15 Tammuz 5781