Help us to help more people, appeals One in Eight

February 01 2013
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One in Eight is a grass-roots community project, established around 25 years ago by locals wanting to help the unemployed find work

Help us to help more people, appeals One in Eight

One in Eight is a grass-roots community project, established around 25 years ago by locals wanting to help the unemployed find work. One in Eight

The building, located in the midst of independent high street Gloucester Road is thought to have been renovated as part of the Youth Training Scheme, which came into operation in 1983.

Since its inception, the North Bristol Community Project has helped many people, including drug users, alcoholics, and those with mental health issues and disabilities.

However, limited funding has caused difficulties for One in Eight; the project is now only able to sustain itself at a very basic level, such as through its much-loved charity shop. External funding is essential for the project to continue the work it prides itself on.

Over the years, One in Eight has hosted a variety of classes in language, music, creative writing, yoga, meditation and crafts. “Although these were well attended,” says Ted Hall, voluntary co-ordinator, “they were run by volunteers - and there seems to be few around to offer their services at the moment.”

When available, the project provides advice and guidance services, including free counseling sessions and help with housing, health and education, given by experienced voluntary workers.

“We helped a recovering alcoholic who came to us for almost two years,” says Ted. “Then we didn't see him for a while, but he came in not so long ago and thanked us for helping him through his recovery.”

The initiative is still managing to maintain its computer classes, which have been running now for around 17 years – since the emergence of PCs.

“Although most people know how to use them now,” exclaims Ted, “we still do classes for the older generation that haven’t caught up yet!” Ted Hall with fellow volunteers

The project's latest Digital Citizenship Course aims to improve digital literacy by teaching learners how to use popular digital devices – for free.

The project has received funding in the past from the National Lottery for a paid team coordinator. Also, Bristol City Council has provided pay for tutors of educational classes.

However, the project has struggled to secure funding for the last five years.

“Funding is very difficult to get,” explains Ted, “as most of it is tied to a criteria that we cannot and do not meet.”

Whilst the project is run solely by volunteers, Ted confirms that they have very little chance of securing funding. “We try to help any one who comes in,” he explains, “but without funding we cannot help as many people as we would like to.”

If you would like to find out about what you can do to help One in Eight, visit www.one ineight.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.