We strive to empower and support people who have fallen into crisis, for whatever reason, to rebuild their lives and create a better, healthier, happier future.
The Matthew Tree Project, a local Bristol based charity, was established in 2010 with the objective of eradicating poverty from the UK.
The charity provide food, clothing, essential household items and holistic support to individuals and families who are struggling with poverty and are at risk of homelessness. Its aim is to address not only the immediate needs of those it serves, but also the underlying issues that lead to poverty. The charity's vision is to contribute towards a world where people's basic needs are met, whilst reducing inequality.
No-one’s life expectancy and life chances should be limited by poverty. The work of the charity contributes towards this goal. Since 2010 we have helped over 12,000 people escape a life of poverty whilst simultaneously improving their mental and physical wellbeing.
Services are shaped by the people we serve. Since conception, we have been working hard, with the critical assistance of our ‘Citizen Voice Panel’, open to all current and ex-clients of the charity, to enhance the crisis support provided to help people better address the underlying causes of their crisis and rebuild a sustainable and better future for themselves.
The Matthew Tree Project created and delivers the pioneering full wraparound end-2-end social change model, Rebuilding Lives, consisting of several specialist programmes, including food aid distribution, education, and skills training - expertly integrated with a holistic support service for individuals and families that require additional assistance to break free from crisis situations. The charity is committed to providing person-centred support that considers individuals' wider needs, including mental health, physical health, skills, employment, housing, and finances.
Overall, the Matthew Tree Project is dedicated to helping vulnerable households and communities by providing essential resources and empowering individuals to overcome crisis situations and rebuild a happier, healthier, wealthier future.
The Rebuilding Lives Programme is delivered from the charity’s Community Support Hub located in the very heart of the Filwood community. Poverty creates health inequalities which has a devastating impact in the lives and prospects of our citizens. Filwood, one of the country's most disadvantaged communities is in the top 1.5% of most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK, has one of the highest levels of obesity (60.1%), child poverty (25.3%), 58.3% are claiming unemployment related benefits and only 2.4% have above average mental wellbeing. Poverty results in major health and social issues that are damaging for our citizens, costly for government and create a negative cycle from generation to generation. On 1 March 2023 the Guardian reported the number of children living in food poverty in the UK almost doubled from 12% to 22% within the last year.
The Community Support Hub is open Monday to Friday. In addition to providing community engagement and holistic crisis support, the programme reduces isolation by bringing people together in a safe and socially vibrant environment, to help themselves, each other, and engage positively within the wider community where they live.
Rebuilding Lives is an in-depth programme where long-term relationships are cultivated. It is not a helpline, one-off activities, drop-in only, or signposting to other services. Building trust, and in addition to stabilising the initial crisis, provide the next stage in longer-term support, with a plan which helps people to positively move on out of poverty.
The Rebuilding Lives programme prevents homelessness and has a positive impact on mental and physical health; family relationships; isolation; re-offending; work performance (adults); school performance (children); personal debt; and reduces demand on costly publicly funded services.
The daily cost to provide personally tailored crisis support for one person is £2.26 (average cost of delivery of Rebuilding Lives programme across all client cases, 2021). On average support is required for 3-6 months: to enable a client to get to a place where our support is no longer needed. This compares favourably to the cost to provide publicly funded services for someone who has been allowed to become homeless - £20,128.*
The Matthew Tree Project is a faith inspired charity with an ethos underpinned by Matthew 25 vs 31-46; Mark 12 vs 28- 31; and James 2 vs 14-17.
*Source: Crisis UK report, ‘At What Cost’. Author Nicholas Pleace, July 2015