The Newbury Soup Kitchen is open every Thursday evening.

We Have Been Hit With Our First Winter

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We have been hit with our first Winter session as far as the Soup Kitchen is concerned. As it has been so incredibly cold, I was not sure how busy we would be this evening, though we welcomed 26 people through the door.

We had to call an ambulance out this evening. One of our regulars came in with breathing difficulties. The paramedics took him into the ambulance for at least forty minutes to triage him. His vital signs were generally good, but he has a chest infection and was incredibly cold. These poor people struggle to get better from colds and flu, this particular gentleman has had his cold for weeks and weeks. Indeed, the clients were very very cold this week from continued freezing temperatures. It’s heart breaking to close the Soup Kitchen doors and send them on their way knowing what a dreadful night they may have. Even ‘P’ wasn’t initially himself until Hilary found him a copy of the NWN for the crossword. He perked up then. Hilary I’m not sure who needs who most on a Thursday?

Unfortunately we were not donated as much food this week from Pret A Manger and Greggs. Maybe the public have moved to warmer foods rather than sandwiches due to the cold weather perhaps? These companies are so generous to us each week, but it did leave us a little short. However, we were able to make good because Jan had made more amazing banana bread from bananas donated last week and persimmon bread from the weird but tasty persimmon fruit donated last week too. Hot dogs are still going down very well as we are still using the copious amount of finger rolls donated two weeks ago.

A new volunteer popped in to see us tonight and he is a vet. The great thing is, he stayed and before long was sitting down talking to people and doing jobs. It will be great to have him on board as he can also look at any dogs that come in with their owners. We had the sweetest little dog in last night. We fed him too!

For a trial we had a pharmacist to come and give flu jabs to both clients and volunteers. Ten jabs were administered in total, which was a better uptake than I had anticipated. We will do this every year I think and I thank you to the council who gave us the opportunity to do this and of course, the lovely ladies from Boots Pharmacy at Tesco who gave up their time to help us.

We are still a growing concern and food freezing is becoming a problem. I think the next objective is to obtain a new and bigger commercial fridge. This needs to be bigger and more effective at holding a cold temperature as our little fridge is just not big enough. The Night Shelter will be using it too which opened 1st December, where 13 beds will given on a first come first served basis.

On a personal note, I like it when it’s quieter as it gives us more time to sit and chat with people. Everyone at least left warm, with flasks filled with a hot drink or hot water, a full belly and warm coats etc. We have an amazing team, you all step up with anything thrown at you. Your brilliant!