Like so many of us, Sara has experienced a ‘Covidcoaster’ of emotions over the past months – sometimes feeling sad or scared, sometimes uplifted and blessed.
Everyone in St Budeaux was looking forward to the Easter ‘Feast of Fun’ to be run by Churches Together and featuring a bouncy castle, great crafts, fun activities and tasty food. Funding had already been agreed, and when lockdown began, Sara and the team decided to use the money to provide forty families with ‘Feast of Fun’ at home. The hall looked like Aladdin’s cave as they prepared (at a social distance) the bags of craft materials and food, which they then delivered by car. The families were surprised and thrilled and many of them sent messages of thanks.
‘Lego Club’ won’t be able to meet again for a while, which is a shame as it was one of Sara’s new initiatives for families. Once a week after school, children and parents enjoyed a Bible story (told using Lego, of course) and created their own models based on the theme. Sara is phoning and messaging the families regularly though, so everyone is feeling cared for.
Sara has found that WhatsApp works well for the groups at Budeaux, along with daily phone calls for older people living on their own, and postcards for families. People are discovering what it’s like to be prayed for too – something that will certainly outlast lockdown!
Unemployment is a big challenge on the Budeaux estates, especially at present, and when the local CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Centre has extra food donated, Sara distributes it amongst families she knows could use it.
Sara is also involved as a volunteer with a charity called ‘Read Easy Plymouth’. By using WhatsApp she is able continue to coach one of the adults currently learning to read, and this is proving to be a great encouragement.
Sara-Jayne has worked at Budeaux Baptist Church for just over a year, but has life-long connections with Plymouth (although she has lived and worked in other places too) and was already living locally and part of a local church there. She feels grateful that she had time to become established in her new role (which she loves) before the pandemic started. As community worker she has links with groups of all ages and is working hard to continue to support them.
Thank you, Sara. We know you’ll continue to be a blessing at St Budeaux.