Bristol charity ‘The Mathew Tree Project’ prepares to expand its multi-agency ‘Rebuilding Lives’ programme

Here at PLPR we are incredibly impressed with the work of The Matthew Tree Project, a Bristol based charity which provides a full ‘wrap around’ support programme for over a thousand of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

We are helping to spread the word that the charity now has the opportunity to help more individuals whose lives have been hit by crisis – many at high risk of becoming homeless.

Currently operating four days a week from four different ‘Rebuilding Lives Support Centres’ in deprived areas of Bristol, the Matthew Tree Project helps anyone who is referred by one of over 90 officially appointed organisations as well as GP’s, schools, hospitals and social workers.  Due to the introduction of its innovative ‘Mobile FoodStore’, the charity is now able to start operating on a fifth day, weekly on a Thursday and is seeking both a venue in which to carry out its life rebuilding work and a new host partner organisation to collaborate with.

Founder of the charity, Mark Goodway says,

“The ‘Rebuilding Lives’ programme works to address poverty and crisis at its roots, to catch vulnerable people who are falling through the cracks and help them holistically, tackling their problems and empowering them to move them from crisis to independence in a very effective and sustainable way.”

Host partners provide the venue, which becomes a focal point of the community as people and families in crisis come weekly for essential support provided by the skilled staff and trained volunteers of The Matthew Tree Project. A ‘Rebuilding Lives Support Centre’ offers a safe and welcoming space where open and trusting relationships are developed and a mixture of mentoring, help with budgeting, money management, nutrition, home cooking, ICT, employment and tackling problems such as domestic abuse, benefit sanctions, debt, addiction and many other issues – each support package being made unique to the individual. In addition, every client attending a support centre receives seven days’ worth of fresh, chilled and ambient food for their family, for as long as they need it. The food is stored in the new ‘Mobile FoodStore’ meaning the ‘hosting’ venue is only needed on its support day.

The project currently runs as follows:

Monday               Carmel Christian Centre                Brislington, Bristol

Tuesday               The Matthew Tree Project           Filwood, Knowle, Bristol

Wednesday        Juice Community Project              Cadbury Heath, South Gloucestershire


Friday                    Bristol City Mission Society          St Jude’s, Central Bristol

Mark adds,

“We have the experience, infrastructure, funds, volunteers, training programmes and food in place to help more people who are living on the very edge of society. We now need a host partner to provide the venue to enable us to deliver help where it’s needed the most.  I’m excited to see where we’ll go next and urge anyone who thinks their community would benefit from this support to contact us.”

Churches, community centres and charities working in areas of the city which could benefit from the unique ‘Rebuilding Lives’ program are asked to contact the charity, to express an interest in bringing this lifesaving help to their local area.