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A very big thank you!! Firstly to Alistair Doxat-Purser, the SMILE Chair and Faithworks Wessex Chief Exec, who has not long completed a double Chicken Run Marathon to raise money for SMILE. It is Alistair’s tradition that he runs marathons dressed as some amusing character, and this year, he didn’t cease to fail us. Running both the Bournemouth Marathon and the Great North Run, dressed as a chicken!! Why did the chicken cross the road … ? To make us SMILE!! He raised a fabulous £761. And the Localgiving.com Grow Your Tenner campaign a couple of weeks ago, brought us in  matched funding for £55 and a new Direct Debit doubled for 6 months. On top, there’s £232 in Gift Aid. So in total, since August 2017, we have received £1,228!! Thank you so much to Alistair and to all those who have given so generously.

Autumn has been relatively quiet and we can’t actually believe that we’re in the throes of preparing for our Christmas SMILE. 2017 has given us a fabulous Easter Retreat @ Longmead to follow on from our New Year Retreat @ The Greenhouse. Emily Bradbury has led two Living Life Loved Breathing Spaces, and our Easter Retreat @ Longmead Community Farm gave us another opportunity for a pottery workshop. There has been much fun and relaxation at another two Longmead Retreats in the Summer.
These retreats are now possible thanks to a grant of £1,600 from Salisbury Diocese, for which we are so thankful.
The Fishing Project went to another level this year, as we started a partnership with Sea Warriors, a Charity set up to mentor lads and young men. Along with True Blue Fishing Boat trips, a program of sailing sessions was created for the lads in the Summer Half Term. We are so excited at all the future possibilities and are as ever thankful to SMILE’s volunteer Mark Churchouse and his team for ensuring the smooth running of the sessions, as well as giving the lads a fulfilling and fun time.
As sad as the circumstances are in which we meet families, it’s been so lovely to have a few new connections. Every parent and child brings something new to the SMILE community, which loves to be connected to the community as a whole. Our focus for 2017/18 is to create and develop strong partnerships to enable SMILE to be all it can be to support the ever increasing numbers of Lone Parent Families and the challenges they face.
We’re so excited to be holding our first SMILE Awareness event at St Mary’s Longfleet Church on Thursday 9th November, from 8pm. This is an opportunity for you to find out all we are doing at SMILE and how you can get involved to support Lone Parent Families.
SMILE It’s Friday Autumn dates: 
15th September, 6th and 20th October
3rd and 17th November, 1st and 15th December
Mikala’s monthly Intergenerational Community Meal at St Philips, is growing in numbers and has a beautiful atmosphere as the older generation become like grandparents to the children and parents. Thank you Mikala for all your hard work and dedication and thank you to Terri of the Friendly Food Club for feeding so many people with delicious food at the community meals in West Howe and Poole.
The Community Meals take place on the last Friday of each month except December, the next few dates are:
29th September, 27th October, 24th November, 22nd December – Christmas Party
All of SMILE’s work is made possible through various charitable trust grants and donations. We’re thrilled to have received £5k from a new funding source, The Clara Burgess Fund. Thank you.
 
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Donations can still be made through our localgiving page at http://localgiving.com/charity/smileconnect

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