Tuesday, 20 June 2017


This is a photo of Rhyl resident Eunice Parry taken last week by Yours Truly outside the entrance to United Church in Rhyl (originally Christ Church) in Water Street, where Rev. Paul Robinson is nurturing a new project.

The north side of the church and the adjacent building (formerly Citizens’ Advice Bureau) which is under church ownership, are undergoing transformation into The Ask Centre - of which Eunice will be Manager / Receptionist.

The Ask Centre is being created by money from the 'Community Facilities Programme' of Welsh Government. The centre will incorporate the Rhyl branch of Denbighshire Citizens’ Advice, plus community and social activities.

There will be a suite of six computers for free public use, a food bank that could provide 24 hoursworth of food in case of emergency, community meeting rooms for hire, and a community choir for an hour once a week.

Choir practice will be in the church. Not all songs are going to be religious and you don’t need to be a good singer to join in. Eunice will accompany at the piano.

Helping in the centre's management and admin are Rev. Robinson and Natasha Harper the Communities Facilitator. ”We hope the new centre will help to tackle poverty and deprivation among members of this community." says Eunice.

Grand Opening of The Ask Centre is on Saturday 1st July, 11am-3.30pm. Go along and see the project - you’ll be impressed! The centre is open to all enquirers from Monday 3rd onwards.
Tel: (01745) 337750, email: eunice@unitedchurchinrhyl.co.uk

TUE 11th SEP 2018 UPDATE: Eunice and Natasha report that the community choir has been replaced by Carry On Singing, a dementia-friendly singing group.
In addition to a food bank The Ask Centre now has access to a fuel bank (a voucher scheme operated by a third party).
Despite expectations, the food bank's statistics show that benefit delays are not a major cause of hardship. The reasons are more to do with the everyday cost of bringing up children on benefits or on inadequate earnings.
Comparatively poor families with children are under extreme pressure during school holidays when no free school meals are available, and whenever they need to buy school uniforms, and almost inevitably at Christmas time.
All sorts of people are in all sorts of trouble. Guidance on marriage and other relationships is much in demand, and debt is without doubt a growing menace in the community. You can get counselling on these and other tricky matters at or through The Ask Centre.
Some refugees and other migrants have “no recourse to public funds”, i.e. no entitlement to benefits and need help from charitable groups; ex-members of the military and other emergency services need practical support and friendship.
Whatever the problem, The Ask Centre is a good place to start looking for a solution. If you are fortunate enough not to need the services perhaps you could afford to make a donation or leave some money in a Will?
Light refreshments are available in the Living Hope coffee shop run by volunteers of the United Church in Rhyl next door. The coffee shop is open Tue/Wed/Thu 10am-1.30pm. It operates on a donations basis – just pay what you can afford.

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!

Comparative poverty is a form of suffering, and suffering is an intensely personal experience that cannot be shared. You can sympathise with somebody experiencing deprivation but you can’t stand in their shoes and know what they are going through. Poverty can make people feel lonely, alienated, even embittered and angry. It is corrosive and divisive, and no decent society should tolerate it.