Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – September 15th 2020

Daniel Centre

When residents are first accepted by the Daniel Centre, they are given a 6 or 9 month contract.  These contracts are then renewed as necessary according to the needs and attitudes of the individual residents

István, Soreen and Alix are now, willingly or unwillingly, coming to the end of their time there and will only have their contracts renewed with difficulty.  André, who came in July, now has a job and is a stable addition to the Centre.

Balazs hopes that they may be able to qualify for some of the €1 billion EU fund to help develop the depot where the Blythswood Charity Shop currently stands to release more sustainable cash in future from rentals.

Talita Kum

Adi has had two good summer camps, one in relation to Talita Kum for primary school children and the other a more secular camp for artists.

TK1 and TK2 return to business in the next couple of weeks but the school situation in Romania is currently quite chaotic with teachers and pupils alike not knowing quite what to expect or what the rules are.

The rate of increase in Covid cases has now flattened.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – September 1st 2020

Daniel Centre

Most residents come from the Child Protection services in the area around Cluj.  The Centre takes residents who are borderline emotional cases, one of the few institutions taking young people in this category.  The Centre has now had about 120 residents over its 20-year existence.  The big majority of those have left with a positive attitude towards the Centre.  Only a few, however, have been emotionally stable enough to go on to have families of their own.

István has now left the Centre to live with his aunt, but already regretting the move.  Soreen has quit his job and may also have to leave the Centre.  Alix, who has been resident since 2015, has improved in attitude and may be getting a new job as night watchman with a security company.  The new resident André who came in July, seems to be a more open-minded young man.

Progress in developing the depot for renting and in selling the property by the airport is quite slow.

Talita Kum

Adi is coming towards the end of his summer camp with 30 children ranging in age from Primary 1 to Primary 8.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – August 19th 2020

Daniel Centre

István is still somewhat disconnected from reality.  The new Alix now has a gas station job.  Cipri is physically more stable and profiting from psychiatric help.  The brothers Daniel and Gaby have good jobs but unhappy with them – Daniel wants to continue High School studies.  The old Alix is on a 2-month ultimatum to leave the Centre – he may change work as he has back problems from lifting heavy white goods in his delivery job.  He may move out with another of the resident who qualifies for a mortgage.

There are bureaucratic delays in developing the depot which houses the charity shop.  By re-developing the depot, two new rental properties will be made available.

Dani continues to be encouraged by his sessions with psychologist counselling on his work.

Talita Kum

Adi now has an end-of-August deadline for re-submitting his application for EU funding for running costs for TK1 and TK2.  The TK3 and TK4 developments now face cost swell beyond the original estimates.

The 1-week summer camp for 40 children starts on August 20th. 

TK1 and TK2 await government directions on handling school re-openings in the current health situation.

New Covid cases in Romania are now at 1500 daily.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – August 1st 2020

Daniel Centre

Two weeks ago was the first time for the Daniel Centre to have all their lads in employment.  István has since resigned his job at Carrefour as he was under pressure for being too slow.  A new lad, Alix, has since joined the Centre and is not yet in work.  Cipri has started having faints and is a cause for concern.

The Centre’s re-licensing application has been submitted on time and progress has been made on selling the adjoining site for flat developments.  There is also movement on selling the airport property.  Blythswood will soon be closing their charity shop in Cluj as it has been loss-making over the past 6 months, rather than a source of funding for the Daniel Centre.

Dani is encouraged in his interactions with the lads and has a psychologist now giving him regular feedback and counselling on his work.

Talita Kum

Adi can now re-submit an application for EU funding for running costs for TK1 and TK2 after his initial application was turned down last year.  The TK3 and TK4 developments are still at the stage of waiting for planning permits.

The schools are still closed but Adi now has funding in place for a 1-week summer camp in the mountains for 40 children.

Because of a legislative 2-week black hole where it was deemed illegal to impose self isolations for the Covid crisis, Romania has now seen an upward spike in new cases to over 1000 a day.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – July 7th 2020

Daniel Centre

The 5-year licensing is in progress but is usually quite a bureaucratic process.

The residents have been generally in better form over the past few weeks.  Dani meets them more on an individual basis because of the Covid restrictions.

Negotiating goes on with the local council as the Daniel Centre refurbishes one property for renting and they await a better offer on a second property – the airfield property – they want to sell.

These ventures would release more funding for the Centre as the Cluj charity shop becomes less viable.

Talita Kum

Food deliveries continue for the families of the TK children and for older people in the community.

Adi has arranged picnics for children who would normally be attending Talita Kum at this time of year.

Summer camps and the annual International Arts Camp will take place as planned with funding now in place.

Infections continue to rise, now up to 400 a day.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 17th 2020

Daniel Centre

Alix has taken over from Titi as cook.  One resident, another Alix, is worked off his feet in a courier service, but no resident has lost his job because of the lockdown.

Ciprian had been suicidal but is now recovering with psychiatric counselling.  István wants to quit his job rather than get up for morning shifts.  Soreen will have to leave the Centre soon for disciplinary reasons, seemingly always in the centre of any trouble in the Centre.

Ionuz who had previously left the Centre to live independently continues to deteriorate in his health with more frequent seizures and will probably have to go for a retirement pension.

The Centre had a BBQ, in spite of very thundery weather, for about 15 previous residents on Friday, 5th June, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Daniel Centre opening.

Talita Kum

The three shops re-opened on June 2nd and continue to do well.   Food deliveries for the families of the TK children and for older people in the community.

Schools will re-open in September but Adi has arranged picnics with social distancing for children who would normally be attending Talita Kum at this time of year.

Summer camps will go ahead, this year without foreign volunteers like Millburn Academy in Inverness and are looking for funding.  The annual International Arts Camp with artists from countries less affected by Covid 19 will also take place as planned.  This camp is funded by local government.

In Romania generally, infections have been on the rise again, up from 120/150 to 300 a day.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions

Blythswood Update – June 3rd 2020

Daniel Centre

The lockdown restrictions have eased in Romania over the past days. Please remember the young men of the Daniel Centre in your prayers. Some have lost their jobs due to the crisis.  Some will be returning to work in the days ahead and one young man has a job interview.

Alex, himself abandoned as a child because of a crippled leg, is taking over from Titi who was cook for the Centre.

The Blythswood shop in Cluj has been declining and faces growing competition from shops selling new cheap clothing sourced from Poland and Turkey.

With financial support from the shop declining and even terminal, Blythswood are now selling land they have had for many years and redeveloping other facilities to provide ongoing financial support through rentals.

Talita Kum

Talita Kum in Jimbolia is supported by three shops which continue to receive a good supply of goods from Austria.

Because of heavy rain on June 1st, Talita Kum moved their International Children’s Day celebration to June 2nd with their outdoor barbecues and other events.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions, The Persecuted Church Across the World

Blythswood Update – May 13th 2020

Daniel Centre

Romania moves from a military state of emergency to a state of alert on 15th May, with deaths still contained at under 1000 for the country.  Alix and István still work and keep to their own rooms when back at the house, but no Covid 19 testing in place poses problems for the others.   Abram is on his two-week supervision of the Centre.

Balazs and family are currently on a break from the city, the children schooling online.  This year looks to be the driest year since 1947 – the country will have to cut down on grain exports to non-EU countries.

Balazs returns to Cluj today to work on claiming government furlough subsidies for the Centre.  An offer has been made for one of the Centre’ outlying properties and Balazs will meet the potential buyer in Cluj.

Talita Kum

No updated news at the moment but Talita Kum’s teachers continue online support to children normally attending Talita Kum under regular circumstances.

Adrian supports the children, their families and elderly in the Jimbolia community with meals from Talita Kum’s soup kitchen.  This provides some relief for Talita Kum in its current cash-strapped situation.

The Talita 3 & 4 project is now in the detailed planning stage.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions, Whats On

Blythswood Update – May 1st 2020

Daniel Centre

Three of the young men at the Centre have now been allowed to go back to work; István at the supermarket, who had had pneumonia, tested negative for Covid 19.

Danny, the staff member currently doing his two weeks supervising the young men, expected to be Covid-tested before this present stint but local government did not have the facility to test him.  Balazs or another staff member will take over from Danny on 9th May, but they are concerned about the local lack of necessary testing.

There have been 11,000 confirmed cases of Corona virus and 600 deaths in Romania.

Talita Kum

Schools don’t re-open till September – older children get online classes through Zoom with their teachers but younger children get emails from teachers and parents do most of the actual teaching at home – less satisfactory.

5 Talita Kum’s teachers now offer online support to the children who normally attend Talita Kum.

Planning for Talita Kum 3 & 4 goes on and has now reached the detailed planning stage.

There was little uptake to continue the fortnightly quizzes online, so they have been dropped.

Blythswood, Mission Partners of Castle Street, Missions, Whats On

Blythswood Update – April 15th 2020

Daniel Centre

The money previously assigned for the refurbishment of the large depot in Cluj has had to be temporarily re-directed to Blythswood in Deephaven to maintain essential services, including the food banks, across a wider spectrum of Blythswood projects which are currently in lockdown.

The Daniel Centre is in complete lockdown which means that all the residents have to be in isolation for 14 days and those young men who have been working will lose their jobs because of this.  Two of the lads have left the Centre for the time being, another would like to leave but this would probably have to be permanent, and seven remain with different members of staff taking turns to spend two weeks in the Centre with the young men.  The cook retires at the end of April but one of the current staffers will take his place.

The Daniel Centre has been delivering care packages to 30 homes, about 100 people, on a regular basis, but that has now to be curtailed to only the two most elderly and vulnerable people.  The Daniel Centre will transfer money regularly to the accounts of the other 28 family units till the crisis is over.

Talita Kum

The lockdown continues and the staff are now on furlough and receiving 75% of their normal salary.

Balazs has had no news of whether their fortnightly quizzes going online has been successful or not.  They may have to stop their care plan for the elderly in the current situation.