A message from our Chair of Trustees

Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon looks back at 2020 and shares some reflections as Together Liverpool prepares for an exciting year ahead

Ellen Loudon Trustee

Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9

This time last year Together Liverpool was celebrating the award of a grant to support our Network of Kindness initiative. Little did we know then that kindness would become even more crucial to our all of lives - indeed kindness has become the glue that has held community together, kindness has given us opportunities to reach out, and kindness has enabled us to become close to people even when we can’t hug or hold hands.

Covid may have separated us physically but kindness has brought us together to speak out for those who cannot speak and defend the rights of those who are in particular need.

Kindness is not just about being nice – kindness for Together Liverpool is about how we engage in social action in ways that are ethical, generous, compassionate and caring. The Network of Kindness we are growing will be sustainable and collaborative because this network will be full of the kindness we will make together. In 2021 we aim to fill this network with your kindness - the sort of kindness that we have seen thrive over the last 9 months – and together we will make even more of it!

So, before I reflect on what Together Liverpool has achieved in 2020 I wanted to thank you for all you have done to respond to human need by loving service and to challenge unjust structures. Our Network of Kindness has already started…and we are doing this together.

So, what has Together Liverpool been up to this year?

Naomi Maynard's work has expanded so that she is able to focus more fully on our on our work tackling food poverty, as Food Insecurity Lead Executive. Through our partnership with Feeding Liverpool, we have coordinated and distributed over £50,000 worth of food to support emergency food provision in the City of Liverpool, between April and October.

This has boosted 20,799 food parcels, which have supported 9,453 families across Liverpool. We have also used our funding to specifically work with churches and community centres offering food provision to children and young people, providing over 3000 cooked meals, along with activity packs.

During the worst of the lockdown and afterwards Adeyinka Olushonde ran a series of Covid Cash Courses that supported people who are struggling with their finances or trained organisations to support those in financial difficulty. In October we appointed Kevin Peacock as our new Just Finance Lead Executive. Kev will be kicking off from where Julia Webster left off as well as looking at ways in which we can work with schools and churches to offer debt advice, as well as working strategically at a City Region level, to challenge the systemic issues that cause financial insecurity and inequality.

In November Deb James has joined us as Operations Lead Support Officer. Deb will be the oil that keeps the network turning smoothly and she will help us tell the stories of the bigger difference parishes, community groups and individuals are making.

These appointments are thanks to our funders the National Lottery, the Rank Foundation, the Diocese of Liverpool, RAFT, The Gubay foundation, Feeding Britain and Church Urban Fund.

But, the biggest thank you is to all of you for your support and prayers. We would ask that you keep supporting us, and keep praying for us and all our partners as we move forward and continue our work to tell stories of great kindness, speak out against the root causes of poverty, engage and support more social action and to generate social inclusion.

Please read and share our latest recruitment opportunity – perhaps this role is for you: we are looking for a Social Action Lead Officer to champion social justice as we grow our Network of Kindness project across the Diocese of Liverpool.

Thank you and may 2021 be a year of justice and kindness.

Much love

Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon

Chair of Together Liverpool Trustees