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2021 Lent Campaign in support of The Manna Society


17th February – 4th April

One of the few positive side effects of these difficult times has been the strengthening of the relationships enjoyed with the organisations with which we have chosen to partner as part of our outreach programme. In the case of the Manna Society, this relationship has been sustained for three decades and has gathered momentum all along the way.

Quite simply, as the needs of the homeless have increased, reflecting the numbers of homeless, the Parish Family of St. James’ has always been there to provide support.  During 2020, the two campaigns (Lent and Harvest Festival) achieved a gift aided total in excess of £5,000 which was enough to make a real difference during a year when the charity’s usual modus operandi was turned upside down by the pandemic and we were unable to make physical donations of foodstuffs, clothing, bedding etc.

The Stewardship Group has been in regular contact with “Manna” in recent weeks and various options have been discussed with them.

Online giving using the Manna website worked really well last year and enabled them to buy additional grocery supplies through their usual channels as the physical donations which make up more than 70% of their non-perishable requirements had been forcibly curtailed. All we would ask you to do here is a) be sure to Gift Aid your donation if at all possible and b) let John Yeomans have details so that he can measure and manage the campaign as we go along (johnyeomans1950@gmail.com) .

NEW FOR 2021

We have also established an alternative means of giving which will serve to address the needs Manna clients. The easiest way to do this is providing our partner with Gift Vouchers. A thorough trawl through the mire and morass which constitutes the world of retail gift vouchers has served to help us determine retailers that:

  • are not just about to go bankrupt
  • sell vouchers online
  • sell vouchers that cannot be used inappropriate purchases

This led us down the road that leads to a single retailer, namely, Aldi which brought with it the additional advantages of budget pricing and a special orange voucher which precludes alcohol and lottery sales (they do not sell tobacco products anyway).

The disadvantage is the inability to Gift Aid but it does mean that Manna can issue vouchers to their clients safe in the knowledge that the funding is probably going to be spent in what might be termed an appropriate manner.


The vouchers can be bought easily by going to www.aldi.co.uk/giftcards and then select the vouchers option. They are available in multiples of £5 and £10 and please be sure to select the orange voucher as this is the variant with the purchase restrictions. Last year’s campaign focused on the idea of 50 pence per day for the 40 days of Lent to give a target of £20 and we would ask you to think along these lines during this year also.

The delivery address for the vouchers should be as follows:

Paddy Boyle, The Manna Society, 12 Melior Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 3QP

In this case, there is no need to let John know as Paddy can just provide a total at the end of the campaign.

The Stewardship thanks you in anticipation of your generosity and will provide regular updates on how we progress.


John Yeomans 07785 331542

02 February 2021

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