Firm Foundations Elim Church are working to save women and children falling through the net. The church makes sure they don’t have to choose between food or nappies.

This newly planted home church started an outreach group to help mothers struggling to provide for themselves and their children. Firm Foundations are a ‘house church’ meaning all services, events and meetings are held in ministers Sadie and Malcolm Ward’s home. The couple started the church in Guernsey and their journey has led them to Falmouth. They currently help 14 different women, offering nappies, wipes, baby milk and other items for children, as well as a place for those seeking safety and comfort. Essentials the government has failed to provide.

The weekly allowance a single mother will receive for the eldest or only child is £21.05 and for additional children £13.95 per child. This is not enough for those with no income also trying to feed themselves.

Some women that they help are survivors of domestic abuse seeking shelter and refuge. This week they helped a mother who is just a few weeks away from giving birth. Firm Foundations sourced baby girl grows ready for the baby to arrive. They have now received every item for the baby girl – with added extras of cuddly toys donated by a local family.

Sandie Ward: Sandie Ward, one of the church’s ordained ministers, spoke on behalf of the church  Image: Sandra Ward

They put a call out on Facebook to request for the community to donate. The charity and kindness they received after reaching out exceeded their expectations. Sandie said: “We were amazed at the response we received! We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the help and funding from the community. They are the heroes.”

Sandie made it clear that although she and her husband run the outreach, “the church is doing all the work.”

The organisation works hard to provide for those in need, saving those that are falling through the net. With Cornwall being the poorest county in the UK, there are increasing numbers of women and children going without necessities as a result. “The government should feel ashamed,” she said. The government’s continuous lack of funding to social work and charity means women and children are suffering. “Mothers would have to choose between putting food on the table and nappies,” Sandie added. “Children are suffering, there are children going without food and that just breaks my heart.”

Community: A big picnic that the church held often before COVID-19 came to the UK  Image: Sandra Ward

Unfortunately, due to stereotypes, some women are reluctant to go to Firm Foundations for help because they feel ashamed, Sandie said. She went on to say, “we are here to help and show no judgement.”

With the help of organisations like Firm Foundations in other parts of Cornwall the church believes there is hope that all women and children in need in the county will be helped.

If you would like to donate or get more information please go follow this link.