Robert's Success Story

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Life had been very difficult for me, for some time. I fell on hard times, which led to me living on the streets.  I was at my lowest point, when I heard about Meryl and ‘Newbury Soup Kitchen.’

I was told that every Thursday, ‘Newbury Soup Kitchen’ opens the  doors of the Salvation Army Hall to the homeless and vulnerable people of Newbury.

I walked into the hall where I found people sat talking, people queuing for food and volunteers walking around making sure everyone was comfortable. I found it overwhelming to begin with but after a few minutes, found it to be a place full of warmth, kindness and empathy. A volunteer sat with me and treated me with patience and made me feel very welcome. After a hot meal, I was given a new sleeping bag and sent away with water and as much fresh fruit as I could carry. 

Meryl is determined to help everyone who comes through the door and she and the team, are with you every step of the way.  She sat with me and got to know me as a person. I could talk and the fact that someone took the time to sit with me and listen, was enough to make me feel significant.  

‘Newbury Soup Kitchen’ is not a sticking plaster offering a meal and a smile, it is a force for change, finding a way to help those of us in need. Meryl has helped me with food, helped me register with a doctor, she has taken me to doctors’ appointments and when my health deteriorated for a while she would come and find me on the street, to make sure that I was warm and safe and, for a few nights, put me in bed and breakfast accommodation to aid my recovery. She helped me fill in countless forms, came to housing meetings with me, and thanks to her determination, I am now in my own home. For the first time, in a long time, I am contented. I am safe, warm and have my own space. I can sleep in a bed that stays dry and can make myself a hot drink  and a meal which is a luxury in itself.  

I cannot thank Newbury Soup Kitchen enough for giving me, my life back! I am now happy and looking to a future where I can get back to work and think about supporting myself once again.  

Updated: 1st October 2019