St. Peter’s Aid for the Needy (SPAN)
St. Peter’s Aid for the Needy (SPAN) was founded by parishioners in 1974 for the purpose of bringing Christian love in practical ways to those in need both locally and overseas. Members of the parish are invited to participate in the activities of SPAN and to donate to its work, including the Gift Aid scheme, as they wish on a completely voluntary basis. SPAN is the principal means by which the parish of St. Peter makes charitable donations.
SPAN became a registered charity in 1994 – registered charity number 1040252. Since its foundation SPAN has administered donations from parishioners totaling over £365,000. In 2015 SPAN received and distributed over £50,000. SPAN aims to share its available funds between local and UK needs and those in need overseas.
SPAN has a number of ongoing commitments, principally CAFOD, Panguma Hospital (Sierra Leone), St Francis Hospital in Nyenga, (Uganda), and Ortum Mission Hospital, (Kenya).
Regular support is also given to The Warwick & Leamington Foodbank, The Leamington Night Shelter, Brushstrokes a project for refugees and asylum seekers in Smethwick, The House of Light and Hope which is a home for street children in the Lebanon and Martin de Porres a refugee camp in South Africa. SPAN helps fund the education of three orphans and a deaf and dumb child in Uganda.
Three Sundays are set aside during Lent every year for SPAN Lenten Alms. Speakers from particular charities are invited to speak at Mass about their work and a collection is taken for the charity. In 2015 the Lenten Alms appeals were for the Warwick & Leamington Foodbank, Educaid (which provides free schooling of the highest quality to some of the poorest children in Sierra Leone following the disastrous civil war) and Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Coventry which provides palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants.
Appeals for support are received throughout the year and are discussed at the SPAN monthly meetings. Careful consideration is given to each appeal and, where appropriate, a donation is made.
A Christmas food parcel and toy distribution scheme is operated every year and about forty local families are helped in this way. Good quality clothing is collected and given to local charities working with the homeless, and national charities for asylum seekers and refugees.
SPAN open meetings are held in the parish centre at 7.30pm on the second Monday of each month (except August) and the Annual General Meeting is held in May. All parishioners are welcome to attend these meetings.