Our aim is to tackle poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need.
St Vincent’s Blackfriars is part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales), commonly known as the SVP.
Information on the work of the wider Society can be found here.
In Newcastle we run Blackfriars Community Centre and Supported Accommodation for homeless people. Read more about these projects below.
VINNIE'S DROP IN
In October 2017, we started Vinnie’s free drop in lunch service. Research was first carried out to determine what other provision there was for free food within Newcastle and our own service was launched on a Tuesday from 11am – 2pm to ensure it did not compete with existing provision. Through the FareShare scheme, our volunteers were soon collecting unwanted food from our local supermarkets and using it to provide delicious, healthy, freshly prepared meals.
In our first week of opening, we had twelve people attend but within a month we had to move from our upstairs cafe to our main hall and now we serve between 70 and 100 people every week. People come from Newcastle, Gateshead and even Durham and Sunderland. Tuesday at Blackfriars has become a place where everyone is welcomed, where they can sit on their own or meet friends and chat in a warm environment, with a great meal and friendly volunteers around to hopefully make life a little easier for them. We ensure that everyone is treated with respect, by providing table service, napkins, and free local newspapers. In addition, if we have visitors to the Centre at lunch time, we invite them to sit down with us at Vinnies so that everyone is sharing food together and is on an equal footing, whatever their circumstances.
Crisis accommodation for homeless people age 25+. Residents work with our staff to address their individual needs through person-centred support packages. Needs to be addressed include offending behaviour, mental and physical health problems, addictions, social, financial and digital exclusion.
We have 12 en-suite bedsit rooms, and residents can access a library, laundry facilities, large kitchen and IT and activity room.
LEN WOODLEY APARTMENTS
Six self-contained apartments, each with an open plan living room/diner, bedroom and en-suite facilities. One apartment offers modified furniture and a wet room for less able-bodied residents and another is capable of accommodating a couple.
We support service users to move from supported accommodation to housing that is more independent, ensuring they are ready and able to sustain a tenancy in the wider community.
ROSALIE RENDU APARTMENTS
Offer specialist support for homeless single women aged 18+. The accommodation comprises three self-contained one-bedroom flats with en-suite facilities. Within a safe, friendly and homely environment, the women are encouraged and supported to participate in social activities to build positive and meaningful networks of support and relationships.
Our supported housing service combines
accommodation with support and is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of vulnerable and homeless people.
Our staff are available 24 hours a day to help residents to fulfil the terms of their occupancy agreement.
We can also offer help with:
- Support to access treatment services for alcohol, drug or health problems.
- Support and advice with getting benefits.
- Support in developing independent living skills, such as budgeting and cooking.
- Increasing physical and mental wellbeing, including support to access social activities and peer support groups.
- Encouragement to reconnect with family and friends, or develop new social networks.
Thanks to the generosity of individuals, businesses and schools, we are able to give out emergency packs of food, clothing, toiletries and sanitary products to those in need.
PAY AS YOU PLEASE CAFE
Our Pay as you Please cafe is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Starbuck’s have designated us one of their community cafes. This enables us to place regular orders for their tea bags, coffee, ceramic mugs and sweet treats. Their ongoing support helps us to keep the cafe running.
Marks and Spencer’s regularly supports us from their store in Kingston Park with donations of food and corporate volunteering.