The Genesis Trust – A pathway to life-changing independence
The Genesis Trust was established in Bath to provide immediate practical support to people who are hungry, homeless and vulnerable, and offer long-term assistance to help them rebuild their lives. What had begun in 1990 as a soup kitchen for rough sleepers has become a wide-reaching service to provide compassionate help to individuals and families who may be struggling with issues associated with addiction, mental health, isolation and low income. The Trust’s programmes enable people to learn new skills, gain confidence and make choices for themselves to restore and change their lives.
Through working with local churches and volunteers, the Trust gives practical help, mentoring and training, and encourages a more community-based approach to providing long-term and joined-up support across Bath and North East Somerset. Today, Genesis delivers a range of inter-linking projects with a small team of mainly part-time staff and a group of dedicated volunteers.
“When someone believes they are unable, and they’ve felt that way for years, and then they try it and realise they can… it’s a wonderful moment. It reminds us that change can be tiny but very significant.” – Sue, Life Projects Manager
In January 2021, SMV provided the Genesis Trust with a grant of £5,000 to continue the work of their Lifeline project at the Gateway Centre.
Lifeline is a day centre providing crisis support for people who are homeless, vulnerably housed or experiencing complex challenges such as financial insecurity, mental health and substance misuse. Through Lifeline, people can receive food, clothing and access to a shower and laundry facilities, as well as one-to-one support that focuses mainly on accommodation and financial problems.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Genesis had to change their working practices, implementing remote and one-to-one appointments, offering more in-person support throughout 2021 as the government restrictions eased. Genesis also brought Lifeline and two other projects, Life Skills and the Life Course, closer together – called Life Projects – to provide a more complete service. As a result, they are now able to provide a clearer pathway with significant support available at different stages.
Genesis has ensured that clients still have access to the same services and benefits at a time when the pandemic has made this provision even more necessary. Over the past year Genesis has supported over 320 different individuals through the Lifeline Centre and supported a further 80 people through the wider Life Projects.
“I lost my job in March 2020 because of Covid-19. I found myself in a situation with no money and I was unable to feed myself. This is the lowest I have ever been. When I went to Genesis, I received a lot of support at the Gateway Centre, it truly was my lifeline. With this help, I started believing in myself. My life has turned around completely. I believe that I would not have been able to bounce back without their support.” – Client C