13 September 2017
– by Tola Mbakwe
The Salvation Army in Birmingham said its congregation and volunteers are to thank for the 125 year impact the charity has had in Birmingham.
Major Adrian Allman from, Birmingham Citadel Salvation Army told Premier when the group started in 1892 volunteers “did the practical things because no one else was doing them”.
The Salvation Army said at the time the country was seeking to alleviate the problems associated with the industrial age such as poverty, worker’s rights, social welfare and parliamentary reforms.
Major Allman told Premier about the kind of work the charity was doing back then: “It was very much seeing people who were homeless and sleeping on the streets and finding dormitory style accommodation.”
The group also started employment schemes and even catered to women bettering their homes.
“The home league was an important thing that we used to do,” he said.
“It used to teach young women how to look after their homes. They would have no idea how to do the very basics of cooking and raising children, so things like the home league was devised as a fellowship group provide training to young women.”
He said as different issues emerged over the years, the Salvation Army worked to stay relevant.
He said: “The many programs that we’re doing in the modern day era are designed to alleviate suffering, so in this city we have a large 75 bed hostel; we have a centre that deals with domestic violence.
“Through our church here, we carry on the tradition like fellowship groups for the elderly… we also have a debt advice service…we also work with victims of human trafficking.”
“It’s the second largest city in the country, we want to be a part of it, and we want to have a thriving expression of the Salvation Army in this very diverse and multicultural city.
“We need to be here because there’s still as many problems in the modern day world as there was 125 years ago.”
Major Allman told Premier the “passionate people” are the key to keeping the charity running for more than a century.
“It’s about people wanting to take their faith values and put them into action and demonstrate that where they are.
“Whether that is in the church, whether that is in the community, in their homes, in their workplace, or in their schools, that’s what keeps us going.”
Birmingham Citadel Salvation Army is marking its 125th year with free city-centre concerts on 16th September outside Birmingham Cathedral in St. Phillip’s Square at 3.30pm and 17th September in Rotunda Square (the Bullring) at 4pm.