Members' Assembly - Religion
Elaine Chalmers-Brown - Director, Pilgrim Hearts Trust
As a former single parent living on a limited income, Elaine has always been involved in the use of arts to communicate and involve people. Later Elaine became an International salesperson working in Europe, Russia and the CIS states which gave her an understanding of the problems of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. As a voluntary fund-raiser for a hospice she subsequently became the director of a Christian charity and has been the Director of the Pilgrim Hearts Trust for 12 years.
Pilgrim Hearts Trust is a small charity with a predominantly Christian ethos working with the homeless, ex-offenders, the jobless and unemployed of all faiths, seeking to improve the lot of those who are vulnerable and have perhaps become marginalised by our modern society. They do this by using a wide range of arts in order to assist groups and individuals to regain their self esteem, seek help with their issues and harness their talents and to seek ways of regaining their rightful place in society. Video making plays a significant role in this process which occasionally this takes us to places as diverse as Bulgaria and India, although we mainly concentrate on the increasing needs of people in the UK. The Trust have recently been working with several charities for the homeless.
Elaine finds that a multi-faith approach to voluntary projects can and does bring benefits to all concerned. She believes that voluntary groups, charities and faith groups can and should combine forces to work together and offer an alternative to the large commercial concerns which seem to dominate the funding scene. Elaine is interested in ensuring the smaller voices are heard in this voluntary sector as the things they can achieve are truly astonishing.
Eugene Dugan - Director, Irish Chaplaincy In Britain
Eugene’s first full-time job in the voluntary sector was in Plymouth during the Queen’s Jubilee – the Silver one. Since then he has been an employee, volunteer, and trustee of organisations large and small, here and abroad. The fields include social justice, arts and culture, education, religion, health and social services.
Today he is Director of the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain, a small organisation with a long history of working with the Irish Government and Bishops to offer advocacy and support for some of the most vulnerable and marginalised emigrants in Britain: Irish prisoners and their families, Irish Travellers, and elderly Irish emigrants.
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