PAULA Many of you will know that Rev. Paula Mayer who for the last 18 years has been the inspiration and fulltime unpaid leader of this project had a major stroke in December resulting in the immediate loss of her speech, and all power to her right arm and leg.  I rejoice to report that her recovery has been miraculous, and for this we thank all who have been praying for her.  She is now speaking fully again, and has regained power to write with her right hand, and to walk with the aid of a stick.  She is now recovering in a rest home in Brixham.

In our special trustees meeting after her stroke, Christine, a trustee,  recalled that she had asked Paula some months ago what would happen if she was taken ill.  Paula said that God would provide when the time came.

As Trustees we reaffirm our belief that this is so.

Paula is looking forward to getting back into the Haven. But in the meantime we can say:


  1. Volunteers: Good team work is developing, and new volunteers are coming on board. But more volunteers are still needed to maintain our present level of opening. If you are interested, please call the Haven and leave a message for Mandy.
  2. Help with other roles (collecting donations of food and clothes, washing towels, website updating etc) would be welcome and would lighten the load for volunteers doing the face to face stuff with our visitors.
  3. Management: Pending a fuller understanding of Paula’s future role, Rev. Geoff Kimber has been appointed as interim manager. We could also do with one or two younger trustees – the present ones are mainly retired.
  4. Professional standards: Some more recent additions to the volunteers have brought particular administrative and business skills. As a result of this and discussions with the Torbay council during the summer, we upgraded our volunteer training and professional standards in the early autumn.  This includes moving to always having a team of three volunteers on duty. This has helped very much with having proper supervision of what is going on, better safety for all, and better record keeping.
  5. Night shelter: The night shelter relies on the Haven to administer the application forms for homeless people wishing to sleep in the local churches. This work is continuing as usual.
  6. All in all: I believe that we are in good heart.  Our finances, thanks to the help of many local churches and well-wishers are in good shape.  Our volunteers and visitors are getting used to the new situation. It  is clear that in the months ahead there will be challenges to be faced, but we go forward with confidence knowing that God who called this project into being 18 years ago and who has blessed us so many years is not about to let us down.


Please pray for Paula who is finding all this most difficult, and for her family who are so concerned for her.  Please also pray for all of us who are having to “up our game” while she is not around to do so much.


Geoff Kimber (Rev)

Interim administrator

For the Haven-Torbay trustees

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