Opening doors to change lives
The Isaiah Project came into being in September 2008 to help those who find themselves in a cycle of circumstances they cannot change without help. Anyone is welcome on a Tuesday morning in the Living Room area at the rear of the Plaza Centre from 12:30 to 1:30 where there are members of the team to chat to in confidence, even if just to give a ‘listening ear’. Support can be provided for a wide range of needs including filling in benefit forms, money advice, making phone calls etc. If the team are unable to help they signpost onto other agencies.
For those needing ongoing support, in areas such as drug and alcohol abuse, debt counselling, budgeting, this sometimes leads to housing where every person has their own ‘befriender’. At present the Isaiah Project houses 33 adults and 18 children. Our ‘befrienders’ see our tenants on a weekly basis, visiting everyone in their own home, taking people to appointments with the doctor, shopping and anything else needing support. Part of moving on in life sometimes involves help in getting back to work by promoting confidence and self esteem. Some of those housed volunteer at our shops, some volunteer in the café. Others now have paid employment with the Project.
To help raise funds for the Project in July 2009 our first shop, ‘The Project’, opened in Southchurch Road and one year later our second shop opened, ‘The Project Too. We now have a further 2 shops in Westcliff-on-Sea in Anerley Road and Hamlet Court Road and one in Shoeburyness at the Renown. Our shops are well known in the community and have tremendous support from those living locally. Friendships are built within the shops and staff make every effort to make customers feel welcome and have a chat.
As well as selling to private individuals we work alongside the council with the Essential Living Fund scheme. We can also process applications for the ELF.
We use our furniture vans six days a week for collection and delivery of furniture plus house clearances. If you have any furniture that you wish to donate please call us on 01702 436417.
The Isaiah Project provides opportunities for 50 volunteers in our shops and we can be found on Facebook @ The Project Shops. Our website can be found at theprojectshops.wordpress.com