Co-op cash boosts drop-in centres for vulnerable people

An important Christian charity which reaches out to the most vulnerable people in the area has received cash from the Tamworth Co-op.

The Starfish Project was set up eight years ago as an initiative of Tamworth Covenanting Churches.

In addition to operating a café in the crypt of St Editha’s Church, the project runs drop-in centres at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Leyfields, St Martin’s Church in Stonydelph and the Sacred Heart Church in Glascote Heath.

Co-op cash boosts drop-in centres for vulnerable people

Co-op cash boosts drop-in centres for vulnerable people

The Starfish project is continuing to grow and is supported by around 65 church volunteers. Starfish offers a non-judgemental ear to people with a wide range of problems including alcohol abuse, homelessness, mental health/learning difficulties and people with broken relationships or financial problems.

Whilst the project is underpinned with a Christian ethos, it embraces various denominations and its prime objective is to offer help and support rather than to indoctrinate.

Twenty-five local churches regularly donate food to the project, but funds are constantly needed to continue the excellent work in the community

Project manager, John Larkin, said the £250 received from the Tamworth Co-op will be used to buy food, personal hygiene packs and launderette vouchers for people who find themselves on the margins of society.

“We are very grateful to the Tamworth Co-op for this money. Every penny will be spent on our visitors.

“Donations like this help us to continue to come alongside people and to offer support and encouragement – often where there has been none. This project is also about churches acting together to support everybody and not just their own particular church.”

The money was raised from the Tamworth Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund which has provided more than £40,000 for a wide range of community organisations over the past four years.

The money for the Starfish Project was raised by shoppers at the Tamworth Co-op department store donating the dividends they have earned on their purchases to the cause.

Handing over the cheque, Tamworth Co-op’s non-food manager Ron Constable said he had greatly enjoyed his visit to the St Editha’s drop-in centre.

“This is clearly a project which is bringing genuine comfort to people,” he said.

“You can feel the warmth in here. The Tamworth Co-operative Society is delighted to be backing this very worthy project.”

For more information about the Starfish Project call 07947 957155 or visit