Chesterfield Crime Solicitor David Gittins has attended The Church on the Bus for the first time in Chesterfield. This was in order to offer free legal advice to its vulnerable service users.
The Church on the Bus is a unique local initiative. It has been running for several years. A specific need for the homeless was identified in Chesterfield. There are no soup kitchens or hostel accommodation in the town. The Church on the Bus attempts to fill part of this gap in local assistance.
The Church on the Bus
Help to some of the most vulnerable in the area is provided from a converted single-decked bus. The Bus is parked on Rose Hill opposite Chesterfield Town Hall every Monday and Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 8.00pm (apart from Bank Holiday Mondays).
Volunteers serve tea, coffee, hot chocolate, soup, sandwiches and, usually, treats such as cake, biscuits or chocolates! Toiletries, clothing, shoes and sleeping bags are also provided, together with advice on benefits and other matters affecting the homeless.
Perhaps more importantly the bus provides a safe place for people to feel welcomed, be able to sit quietly in comfort, to chat, to ask questions, and to pray. Each session ends with a short period of quiet prayer.
Typically between 15 and 30 people attend on any one evening but the total pool of people visiting the bus is much larger.
How we became involved
David became aware of the organisation through local business contacts forged within Chesterfield Champions. As a result he contacted the group to how he and staff at our Chesterfield solicitors could help.
David’s first meeting was of the Committee. David was able to outline what he believed he could do to help the organisation and those that it helps.
This will include:
- Free legal advice on a variety of areas of law relating to the police and courts
- Free help and advice with official letters and documents
- Signposting to solicitors in other areas of law as required by those attending the service
- Signposting to other professional service providers to help with ongoing issues, whether legal or not
David’s offer was warmly accepted by the Church and it was agreed that he would attend twice monthly to offer help and support and see what demand there is for the service.
Free advice to vulnerable service users
Since then, David has attended the Bus for the first time in his capacity as adviser. As well as providing some legal advice he spoke with the attendees and witnessed for himself the help and support offered to the homeless. To David’s surprise this included the offer of free haircuts!
David will be returning to offer his legal and practical help (and possibly receive a hair cut) at regular intervals over the coming months.
Make a donation to the Church on the Bus
If anyone wishes to make any donations, such as toiletries, sleeping bags, clothes etc to the Church on the Bus please drop these off at St Thomas’ Church, Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield clearly marked.
Alternatively items can be left at our Marsden Street office and transported on your behalf. Our contact details can be found here.