Opinion: Ed Major on the work of Bath’s Genesis Trust charity

Genesis Trust Lorraine and Sue

Genesis Trust is a Bath-based charity that has been supporting people in need since 1995. The charity exists to offer immediate practical help to people who are hungry, homeless and vulnerable, and provide long-term help and opportunities for them to move toward a better future. We support people from crisis to independence, from despair to hope.
Through working with local volunteers, churches and in partnership with many other agencies across the city, the Genesis team are able to offer a range of practical, therapeutic and person-centred projects.
Sue Fourie is the Genesis Life Projects Manager at our Gateway Centre on London Road where the charity works face-to-face with guests. She said, “I never would have expected the abundance of hope we have experienced throughout the past few years. COVID has required us to change many of our working practices including the need for one-to-one appointment times for visitors to the Gateway Centre. These have gifted us the opportunity to really get to know people, find the root of their issues and provide hope for the future.”
Ross is a good example of someone whose life has been transformed with support from Genesis Trust. Ross was addicted to drugs and alcohol for fifteen years and had lost hope. He decided to make a break from Bristol life and moved to Bath where he eventually met some Genesis Trust staff at a job fair in 2019. He volunteered at the Genesis Furniture Shop and Bath Foodbank for eighteen months where he learned the skills necessary to enter back into the workforce in a compassionate environment. Ross did so well that he was hired by Genesis Trust in October 2021.
Ross said, “It helped me with my social skills and self-confidence. Plus, there is a lot of satisfaction in helping others.”
Lorraine was also in desperate need of support. She said, “Before finding the Genesis Trust I was in a dangerously low state of mental health lacking in confidence and self-worth, struggling with feelings of great loss, pain, much grief and I was suffering safety issues which made me mistrust people.”
Lorraine was referred to Sue Fourie and attended the Life Course that Genesis offers at the Gateway Centre. Lorraine said, “Sue’s guidance and teaching in the Life Course has been nothing short of ‘life saving’. She has a wonderfully calm, supportive and patient approach and has been a huge turning point in the start of my living well and by showing me coping mechanisms to aid my recovery.”
Lorraine has done so well that she will be the first volunteer to assist Sue on the next Life Course. Having been through both trauma and the Life Course herself, her input and support for new guests attending will be invaluable.
There are many people like Ross and Lorraine in our community who need Genesis Trust to set them on their own path towards a better future. It is the compassionate community that Genesis Trust offers through their projects that provides the loving support network necessary for our guests’ journey towards hope and wellbeing.
To find out more, visit www.genesistrust.org.uk.