This year, we revert to a home-based charity for Bishop Kevin’s Lent Appeal, for which he has selected an enormously deserving recipient with close ties to our Diocese, the Mothers’ Union of Glasgow and Galloway.
Away From It All (AFIA) is a diverse Mothers’ Union Project offering Christian care for families. It is active throughout the UK, responding to families whose lives have met with adversity, providing holidays not just for a little respite but to create happy memories for a lifetime. In Glasgow and Galloway, a generous bequest of £1000 in 2018 encouraged trustees to think creatively, bringing together the launch of AFIA with a needful response to domestic abuse within our region. You can read about a previous AFIA project here.
Away From It All’ (AFIA) Project 2023 onwards
Moving on, Building and Growing a Future AFIA Vision
Description and a short history
AFIA is a diverse Mothers’ Union Project, active throughout the UK responding to families whose lives have met with adversity providing holidays not just for a little respite but to create happy memories for a lifetime. In Glasgow and Galloway, a generous bequest of £1000 in 2018 encouraged Trustees to think creatively bringing together the launch of AFIA with a needful response to Domestic Abuse within the region.
In 2019 working collaboratively with North Ayrshire Women’s Aid and a trust fund we provided our first three-day holiday at Millport Field Study Centre on the Isle of Cumbrae. Travel, living together alongside nature and exploring some hidden talents brought laughter, nervous thrills and sometime tearful conversations between family members and the experienced team of professional Women’s Aid staff and Mothers’ Union volunteers. This AFIA holiday included up to 30 participants, including 2 Women’s Aid workers and 3 Mothers’ Union volunteers.
Every day was an adventure, within the beautiful spacious vistas, skilfully provided by the Centre staff, exploring woods, rock pools, local sea life in the aquarium, songs and games around the campfire inspired us all to make together souvenirs to take home, bird boxes, painted stones, and memories.
One Mum summed it all up, “A fabulous three days and memories made that will last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who has provided and supported us, without you this would not have been possible. Please never underestimate the impact this break has had on all the families that have participated no words can express our gratitude. It has been life-changing. Thank you.”
I recently met a mum of 2 (now working with Women’s Aid) who enjoyed the first holiday with us 4 years ago. She greeted me with great affection, saying how lovely to see me again. She then explained to her friend I was the lady who helped provide the holiday the kids were talking about just last week. Hilary Moran, MU volunteer
Following Covid, another successful holiday was held in 2022 in collaboration with East Dunbartonshire Woman’s Aid and their local authority and The Daisy Project, Castlemilk which repeated the very positive outcomes. We now plan to hold an AFIA holiday at least every two years evolving around the different diocesan regions and with related Women’s Aid groups. Links with Mothers’ Union branches and local refuges are strong and supportive giving much-needed practical help, and this strengthens our future AFIA projects and widens the opportunity for other congregational members and people beyond our churches to support and be involved.
It is in Giving We Receive
Finally, let us hear from a Mothers’ Union volunteer on the 2022 holiday, “Personally for me I was humbled how they immediately trusted and opened up to us, there were no barriers. The friendships made between families were heartening knowing they were not alone – a bond also connecting with agencies with Women’s refuge workers helping them immediately and in the future.
Knowing Mothers’ Union cared for them to give them a holiday away beside the seaside and receiving our gifts, they were overwhelmed and truly appreciated the generosity and care they received. As I said humbling, and privileged to be part of their lives, with children just automatically taking your hand to help them. No words just faith”
Moving on, Building and Growing a Future AFIA Vision
All this began with a seed, a generous individual gift. Now we ask the Diocesan family to join us on our journey, to be sponsors, prayer partners and giver of time and talents for future AFIA holidays, so together we can tell the Good News and transform lives now and, in the years, to come receive joys beyond number Including:
- Regional prayers days each year open to ALL for spiritual nurture and creative prayer, space for faith sharing conversations building friendships and networking of interest (using Mothers’ Union programmes for spiritual nurture and practical development of community outreach)
- A focus for growth and revisioning of Christian service in the wider Diocese and community. Monthly prayer gatherings on Zoom to support the Projects whilst enabling vision and commitment of future development. (Praying with Purpose Mothers’ Union resource)
- Regional AFIA Day Activities (AFIAD) each year supported by Mothers’ Union Branches/Regions, enabling a wider group of volunteers to be involved and to gain experience for future AFIA holiday.
- Training within the Mothers’ Union partnership with Scottish Women’s Aid and Restored supporting Safeguard training and developing awareness of DA and appropriate response within congregations and giving regular presentations to Ordinands, Synods, and other groupings.
- Regular sharing of ideas and support across the UK through Mary Sumner House Community of Interest Groups for both AFIA and Domestic Abuse. Already identifying Glasgow & Galloway, as an outgoing and dynamic diocese, being asked to contribute to the Mothers’ Union Annual Gathering in 2022.
What is the cost of an AFIA holiday? The two previous holidays have been in the region of £3000 each
How is child protection and safeguarding addressed? We use an approved Field study Centre with its own safeguarding measures in place along with all children being accompanied by a parent/guardian.
What financial governance is in place? The Mothers’ Union of Glasgow & Galloway and its trustees are an approved charity. The charity is audited annually by an Independent Examiner in accordance with Reg. 11 of the Charities Accounts (Scotland) and is subject to annual approval by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
Ways to Donate
Click here for Bishop Kevin’s Lent Appeal for Mothers’ Union AFIA Project (justgiving.com)
The preferred and easiest way is to donate electronically and instantly to the appeal, either for individuals or for treasurers sending collected charge donations. For individual donations, it means that Gift Aid can be added to your donation, adding 25p to every pound donated (if you pay tax). Whether donating as an individual or as a church via your Treasurer, please add the name of your church to the Donation Notes (this is perfectly possible even if you are an individual who prefers to remain anonymous). Please donate through this page (which donation goes directly to the Lent Appeal) by clicking the link above.
For those who prefer to send cheques, they should be sent to the Diocesan Office. Cheque payments should be made payable to Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, please include a note to confirm the name of your charge and your contact details. Send to:
Scottish Episcopal Church
Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway
Bishop’s Lent Appeal
49 Cochrane Street
Glasgow G1 1HL
Money will be transferred to Glasgow and Galloway’s Mothers’ Union on a regular basis, and included in the final JustGiving total. This will also apply to the following method.
Electronic Transfer to the Diocese
Although it remains easier to transfer electronically via our own JustGiving page, it remains possible to do so through the Diocesan account. Send by BACS to the following details:
Sort code: 83-41-00
Account Number: 00162089
Account name: GW & GALL GEN FUND 7
Please use the reference Lent23 and your quota number for ID, and also email Iolanthe Stack at email@example.com to confirm a donation has been sent, and from which charge it has been sent. Iolanthe will acknowledge receipt by email. If you are sending a personal donation this way, also use Lent23 and your surname for ID, again copying in Iolanthe for information, and she will reply to confirm receipt.