The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Winning Norfolk Christian social action project 

Norwich and Beccles based Sharel@STEP Christian social action project have won two prestigious community awards in six months for the work they complete with those facing hardship and vulnerability.

Theresa Cumbers cf300Incorporating a food bank, drop in centre, second hand furniture sales and a tea room, Sharel@STEP are proving very successful in bringing the community in Beccles together. There to assist those facing hardship and vulnerability, the trained volunteers welcome clients on a daily basis, where they are offered emotional and practical support, as well as a gateway to other avenues of assistance.

Since their opening in June 2014 Sharel’s fresh approach to giving has proved vastly popular, bridging the gap between those that can give and those in need, whether it is through donating furniture or simply purchasing a delicious toasted sandwich, the local community are supporting Sharel@STEP, serving its very own community right in the heart of the town.

Its work alongside other welfare agencies has contributed to their Working Together Award from The Suffolk Community Foundation, testimony to their commitment in bringing people together to make a difference in so many lives. At a glitzy ceremony in November, Sharel@STEP were announced Social Enterprise/Charity 2014 by The Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce.
Theresa Cumbers, Sharel@STEP director of programmes commented, “We are very grateful to Haven Marine Ship Management in Lowestoft for sponsoring this award. We feel that is true recognition for the many hours put in by our fantastic volunteers and very much for the local community who have welcomed us and continue to support us”.

Based in Beccles, the very popular tea room is favoured by many, due to its delicious fresh food, barista style coffee and great value for money.  Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm, there is service with a smile and a menu of treats to get taste buds tingling, including their famous Suffolk Rarebit, and the opportunity to browse their range of second hand furniture. 

Sharel’s sister Charity STEP are similarly thriving in Norwich, due to the commitment and determination of their GEMS (Giving Encouragement and Motivational Support).  Once in need themselves and able to turn their lives around, volunteers from Norwich are now training and volunteering in Beccles in order to help others and to gain valuable vocational skills, many of the crafts made by GEMS are available to buy at Sharel@STEP as well as The Christian Resource Centre in Norwich. 

If you would like to support Sharel@STEP as a volunteer or to donate furniture please call 0800 1300 466 or 01502  217891.  To follow them on Facebook or Twitter: @SharelatSTEP.

The picture shows Theresa Cumbers (on the left) with Sharel@Step's latest award.

See previous Network Norfolk articles on Sharel@Step here and here

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