Whilst juggling a family life, (in fact trying to play sword fights with her son while talking to me!) Katy finds time to help others in a practical and real way.
When I asked what has inspired her, she refers to the story of the Good Samaritan: she wants to be the person who stopped to help. Also, an old children’s song that she used to sing “I was cold and thirsty, were you there?” is always fresh in her mind, she has a real desire to ensure she is always there to help.
So how does she help people?
Katy’s role in the community increased when she gave up work after having children. At one toddler group she found herself talking to a mum and Katy soon realised that this mum was under financial pressure. So the next week she brought some clothes that her daughter had grown out of to pass onto her. From there the passing down of clothes grew, and more and more friends got involved. Now, each toddler group has people that keep an eye out for those that may need some extra help, so support can be given in a relaxed and informal way.
Since having children and from setting up an eco-nappy lending library, Katy developed a good relationship with the Health Visitor, who started contacting Katy when there was a family in need. Katy would them help get together anything from clothes, toys, baby equipment and furniture for them with the help of her friends. A local charity run by Christians working in a similar area adopted Katy, firstly to provide her with support for the many practical, spiritual and emotional challenges and also to help extend the outreach with their resources.
As she spent more time with young mums outside her friendship circles, Katy came to realise that although she lives in a “nice” town there is real suffering going on and soon projects developed with others, such as Christmas hampers to give families a special treat at Christmas and within the last year a food bank has been created to provide families with a three day emergency food package.
The latest project has been working with the Health Visitor again: new mums, often very young mums, had been brought to live in social housing, who had no friends in the area, no means of transport and sometimes no money to feed their children. Depression was setting in and there was a real need to help. Very quickly, Katy was able to use her contacts to provide these families with some toys, books and clothes. A colleague set up a regular group that would meet to provide support and friendship for these young mums, where Katy helps on a regular basis. Within this group they have been able to provide fresh fruit, homemade cakes, help with basic cooking skills and budgeting advice.
Katy has challenged me on several occasions to help others: she is a great example of being Jesus’ hands and feet within the local community and is always ready with a meal in her freezer for when a need arises. Katy’s doorstep is often hidden under bags of donations of toys, books and clothes that others have left for her to distribute to where the needs are. She is a keen advocate for child sponsorship and regularly encourages others to join in as she has a real passion for getting people out of poverty globally.
An inspiring and dangerous woman indeed!