Referral Forms

The easiest way to refer a client to the Ark is to send us a referral form. Most of our services use the standard referral form. The furniture redistribution scheme and the free school uniforms initiative each use a more specialist referral form. You can find these forms below. Please remember to obtain the client’s consent to any referral made on his/her behalf.

[We are no longer accepting new nominations for the 2017 free school uniforms initiative. The 2018 initiative will comence in Spring.]



The eligibility criteria for each of our services are as follows:

  • Food bank: Demonstrable need. Clients must collect unless medically unable to do so. Evidence of financial hardship is required if requesting more than one food parcel over a four-month period.
  • Clothing bank: Demonstrable need. Clients must collect unless medically unable to do so. Evidence of financial hardship is required if more than one clothing request is made within four months.
  • Furnishings: Representatives visit the client to establish need. Delivery is restricted to a three-mile radius of B29 6pb.
  • Drop-in lounge: Adherence to code of conduct. Not suitable for under-18s without prior arrangement.
  • Free school uniforms initiative: A referral from a school or agency – with parental consent – must be received within the designated timeframe and demonstrate need. Uniforms are allocated using a points system. At least one child in the family must attend a school within a three-mile radius of B29 6PB. Families must collect unless medically unable to do so. Please note that the free school uniform initiative does not run all year round, but commences in the Summer term ready for the start of the academic year.
  • Vocational experience: Vocational experience group members must be part of a group approved by an organisation with which the Ark has a partnership agreement. Voluntary staff members must complete the application process and be deemed suitable for the rôle for which they are applying. We believe that volunteers are only volunteers if they want to volunteer by their own decision.
  • Adult education: Eligibility criteria vary depending on the objectives of the course and on any partnering organisation.
  • Informal support: With the exception of safeguarding-related support, clients must not already have formal support (e.g. from Supporting People etc.) for the issue for which support is requested.
  • Room bookings: For agencies requiring a safe space in which to meet clients or service-users, rooms are available by arrangement in advance.
  • Activities for under-18s: Eligibility criteria vary depending upon the partner or host organisation.

Linked organisations

Ark is an initiative of Elim Churches in Selly Oak, which consists of Christian Life Church and Elim Church Selly Oak.

Additionally, we work with Christians Against Poverty, which helps our clients to overcome poverty and debt, and Hope for Justice, which rescues and restores victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. We partner with Riverside Education to contribute to the curriculum of secondary-school pupils. (We are not responsible for external content.)