We currently have a group of volunteers assisting Carl with gardening projects across Swansea. Through these projects we have worked with people with varying needs and abilities including those who have learning difficulties, ex-offenders and people with addictions. Working alongside people we do gardening work, clearances and other work when available. We have had great success in offering people a minimum number of paid hours a week, getting them into full time employment and also into rehab.
The project has also helped people with moving furniture. Clearing waste and finding housing on a non-profit basis. We have also provided people with beds, wardrobes and other household furniture as well as washing machines, fridges, TV’s and other equipment. At the time of writing this brochure the current basic Job-seekers allowance is £73.10 per week so if someone on JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) gets into full time employment the government saves at least £3800 per year and receives about £608 in Tax Paid, a net gain of £4409 per year. Most people on benefits also receive more entitlements, such as housing benefit and council tax relief.
We work closely with various agencies and groups to help with the chain of support needed for the different people we come into contact with. We work very closely with Ogof Adullum, the drop in centre at Brunswick Methodist Church in Swansea. They do some great work opening three evenings a week (Mon, Wed, Sat – 5.00p.m to 9.00p.m) offering a ‘place of refuge’ to individuals experiencing homelessness, alcohol and drug addiction. It is intended to be a safe place, free of outside interferences where these individuals can develop safe, secure and loving relationships in a Christian environment.
“Testimonial 1 from Cori Corbett”
When I first came into the Step by Step project I was a double minded man that was so confused and lost in a world of drugs, crime, sadness and loneliness. At first, being involved in the project was very difficult for me as it was solid, firm being centred upon Christ, and my life had always been unstable. The Step by Step project provided stability in my life. I did struggle with this on many occasions and so I pulled away frequently, but I suppose everyone that was on the project at the time saw something in me.
Time after time I let them down but they kept getting alongside me, mentoring me with the Word of God, providing employment where I could learn new skills and build confidence. The project became a family to me, not just friend, nor just an employer, not just a church, but a family. A family in Christ. I really have to praise Jesus for this as he always kept that door open and it is still open to this day. I felt that no matter where I go or where I am there will always be a place at Step by Step as I am a part of it.
The project's main goal is to get alongside people that need stability, to help rebuild their confidence, to equip people with the skills and correct tools to get into full time employment and to be able to live freely. The project not only prepares you with a mind to work, it is a place of solace, a place where you can leave your worries behind and be at peace. It leads to many opportunities to progress.
Sometimes I thought I had been let down or hard done by but on reflection it was exactly what I needed to grow and mature. Sometimes I was just left until I came around but the project always had an open door for me.
Following Jesus at the church and daily readings on the project helped me to draw nearer to God and I had a new mind, starting to see things in a new light, being filled with joy and warmth from the presence of the Holy Spirit. I was beginning to heal; becoming a new creation in Christ.
Today I am a very different person. I have been clean from substances for a very long time. I am married to a fantastic woman, have two children and have had relationships with my family restored - and with so much more to look forward to.
“Testimonial 2 from Andrew Beer”
10th June 2017 - Hebron Hall
Since the age of 18 I've been into drugs, alcohol, crime, gambling and in and out of prison for various offences such as burglary, theft of scrap metal etc. I never believed in God. I always thought I was untouchable and invincible - but I obviously wasn't.
About five years ago I did a long stretch in prison and my mother died which hurt. I got introduced to a drug called Spice which overtook me and I came out of prison still smoking. Because I couldn't get the money to buy the Spice I was going out robbing scrap metal and bags of clothes and stuff like that , anything to get money to fund my habit.
I was in introduced to the church by Tim (Hodgins) and Tim introduced me to Carl who runs Step by Step so I started to work with him but all the time I was working with him I was still smoking this "Legal High" and thinking I was clever. I knew I had abused his trust and I knew he knew that I was still on the wrong track.
Then a few months later, Tim, pastor at Tabernacle, Gorseinon introduced me to Betel, a Christian rehab, I kept saying I was going to go but me being me, I didn't think anything of smoking and smoking and smoking and robbing. Then one day my daughter said to me, "Dad, you've got to sort yourself out or you're going to lose us all" I looked at the sky and said, "God, I need your help" and the day after I went to Betel, Nottingham.
When I went up there I said to them, thinking I was being the clever man, I'm going to be out of here in two weeks, I don't need this. No one up there is going to help me. And then one day Paul, the main Pastor had all the new boys up to introduce what we'd done and repent, apologise. That night I felt like a warm feeling (the Holy Spirit) and from that day on I spoke to him and said I was sorry for being a fool and hurting my family and my children, and all I'd done in the past, robbing and hurting people. I did nine months at Betel. which I'm proud of. We were restoring furniture and stuff like that and I felt that God really touched me because I had thought there's no-one up there, there is nothing.
Nine months later, I met Carl again and went back to Step by Step, worked with him for a year. I remember one day we were sitting in the van. I was working about eight hours a week at the time and Carl was talking about giving me 16 hours a week. I went to the dole office that day and they stopped my money and from then on I was working up to 30 hours a week for Step by Step. I've been working for 12 months now and thanks to Carl and God , I've been clean for 2 years , never looked back. I 've got my kids back, my grandchildren, my Auntie Pam, my sister and now I've started by own little firm, called Bethel Gardening services and every day I speak to Him up there and I thank Him for everything He's done for me and my life.
Thank you for everything. The service, professionalism and effort has been above what would be expected. Thank you. Richard & Laura