Update on Beloved

Dear friends
We greatly appreciate the way churches across Bristol have supported Beloved over the years in our ministry to help women in indoors prostitution experience the gospel, find comfort and exit the massage parlours. We feel an update is timely, for a number of reasons:
1. We are excited to announce that a new Director has been appointed, Julia Busfield. Julia has been in Bristol for a number of years, most recently working as a chaplain with the YMCA. She is highly qualified and we believe is an ideal person to succeed the charity’s founder, Rosie Hopley.
2. Covid-19 has brought many challenges but our very committed staff and volunteers have 'stepped up to the plate' as opportunity has allowed. The following provides some highlights from the last 12 months:
  • The majority of our outreach has been ‘virtual’ over the 3 Lockdowns with 10,971 WhatsApp messages sent and received, 873 phone calls, and 82 face to face you-are-beloved-327meetings with the women. 
  • Many women decided that they did not want to return to the parlours, although nine have now reopened. We have worked hard to support these ladies: 1) into alternative accommodation, and/or 2) to source new forms of employment or training (we supported 5 women into a 6 month training programme with a local social enterprise). 
  • We have recently restarted our doorstep parlour visits. Websites are highlighting very young and 'new' women; we aim to meet them as early as possible.
  • Emergency provision: 1) B&A Church have generously donated food boxes for 11 ladies every other week, and 2) Our Hardship Fund has made several grants during a period of zero income for most women. 
  • Recreation: 1) We have run a creative art workshop, providing a space of peace and relaxation, to be repeated at least monthly, and 2) Monthly day trips, and possibly longer trips, are being planned. 
  • Poverty, housing and employment are the three most significant barriers we are addressing. 
3.     Although this is not primarily a fundraising update, like many charities, we have taken a financial hit. Nevertheless, God has been faithful and we are certainly not in crisis. We have a predicted income stream that falls short of the need, and therefore if you feel able to stand with us to help contribute to this shortfall, whether through regular giving or with one-off gifts, that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you again for your interest and support. We hope you are encouraged by this update.
Kind regards, and God bless
Nigel Ring (Chair) and Andy Street (Trustee), on behalf of the Trustees of Beloved

Posted: May 2021