“I never knew there was so much in it!” is an old comment which aptly describes the Oasis Project premises on Manor Street, Stonehouse.
A veritable Tardis of a building, hosting a wealth of support services, Oasis is run by a delightful team of volunteers, headed up by staff Eunice Halliday, Maria Mills, and specialist support worker Katy Bartlett
The Project’s numerous resources include a workwear programme providing free work suits and clothing suitable for job interviews, help with maths, English and digital skills, a £1 shop, job club, arts and cooking workshops.
“One of the key needs we respond to again and again,” explains Eunice is our easy access to computers and printing facilities. We allow users to print documents for just 10p a sheet, and there is nearly always space at a terminal if you just want to drop in. If we can’t accommodate you immediately we have a very welcoming café environment where waiting is a pleasurable experience.”
More and more people need to use the resources of Oasis, a safe, non-judgmental space for those with spiritual, practical and emotional needs.
Plymouth Central Hall Methodist Church is responsible for the project and Maria, a Church pastor in a former life, runs various groups and services to support people with difficult questions or to discuss faith.
Many need the free internet access to be able to fulfil the requirements set for them by the job centre, as well as support for budgeting, writing skills or other areas where their confidence is very low.
As the benefit rules have become more and more complicated, many need support to understand and correctly respond to all the paperwork they receive.
The Foodbank is also housed in Oasis, as well as the substantial storage and warehousing requirements it needs to process donated food.
Food is only given out to those who have been referred by other agencies, but, as with most things, the volunteers have seen an increase in need.
“Some of our clients are being asked to repay crisis loans they may have had years ago, or are having to cope with six week delays in processing payments.”
Oasis is always on the lookout for businesses and individuals to work with on a volunteering basis, or who could offer storage space or transport.
If you would like to find out more, think you need some support with IT or other skills, or just need a place to print out forms, please pop in to 28 Manor Street PL1 1TW, Mon-Fri; call them on 01752254981 or visit oasisproject.co.uk for more details.