The Anchor Project started in 2004 as a community project based at St Clement’s Church on Barkerend Road, Bradford and in 2016 was awarded independent charity status. We remain based in, and closely linked with St Clement’s as we continue working in this wonderful and challenging area of inner-city Bradford.
In practical terms our work includes the following activities (pre-covid):
- A weekly drop-in for asylum seekers and refugees where people come to collect food and clothes and get support for specific issues (eg housing, utility bills, asylum support). Some also enjoy taking part in a craft activity or chatting with friends. It is a privilege to be part of people’s journey – there are many challenges to be faced, experiences to be shared and much to learn from each other.
- Our environmental project works with local people to improve the local environment and enable people to access the outdoors. This includes walking groups, a gardening club, planting workshops, litter picks and trips to local parks and the Yorkshire Dales. A highlight is our annual BD3 Garden Competition and festival. The festival attracts a wonderful mix of people, all joining together to celebrate the beautiful gardens of BD3.
- We run two English Conversation classes. The classes focus on speaking and listening skills needed for everyday life. Our strong team of volunteers mean that learners get plenty of opportunity to practice their skills.
- Our weekly elders lunch club provides a space for coming together with friends, a freshly cooked hot meal and a variety of different activities including talks from relevant health professionals and support groups. It is lovely to see friendships developing within the group and individuals showing care and compassion towards each other.
In response to the lockdown, the Anchor Project swapped to remote working. We phoned everyone, making sure people understood guidelines, had access to food, arranged shopping and school food vouchers, and sourced and delivered activity and planting packs to households. English classes moved online and we worked with other organisations to enable people to get online access. As some restrictions relaxed we were able to hold walking groups and collection days for people to come and collect food and useful items.
We would like to thank the Cathedral for its ongoing support of our work. It is a real help and encouragement to all of us – staff, volunteers and most importantly, to the people we work with.