A Busy Session
A very busy session this evening with 47 clients welcomed through the door. Lots of faces we hadn’t seen for a while. We couldn’t believe how many people came in considering SWEP is activated now, so it must be the food and good company from the volunteers! :-)
On The Menu Tonight
Jan was away improving her culinary skills in Cornwall (I hope we all benefit), so we did a relatively simple meal of sausages, mash, onions, onion gravy and peas with fruit pie and custard. Often “comfort food” goes down the best. Many people had seconds and thirds.
We are aware that some of our clients are vegetarian or pescatarian. Some of them do not like “artificially grown” substitutes, but will eat soya. We try to make sure we have soya items in the freezer together with gluten and lactose free foods too. It is difficult to cater as we never know who is coming in. We can offer jacket potatoes most weeks with an appropriate topping. The kitchen staff work so hard, it can be quite stressful and busy at times, especially when everyone is cueing at the beginning of the session.
Also after the MEAM meeting this week, it was decided that some of the rough sleepers who find it difficult to come into the Soup Kitchen for an array of reasons (and are in the High Street for example), that we will go out and take them a plate of food. Indeed, if they have a dog, we will take a tin of dog food too.
Dog And Cat Food
On The Subject Of Dogs
We have ongoing issues with a client who is very ill. It is very hard to get some people to a doctor. There are plans hopefully to get a doctor out to him. Some illness or conditions that are not treated regularly can be very worrying and eventually be catastrophic. In the mean time, trying to support a person you see physically deteriorating each week is very upsetting. The charities who deal with him weekly and the organisations put in place in the statutory sectors are working hard to get him help. But it’s still upsetting.
One of our rough sleepers has a very bad back again. He was asking for pain killers which we cannot give him. We have advised he goes to the doctors immediately. He said she has three mattresses plus sleeping bags and sheets. He sounds like The Princess and the Pea! He said his bed was comfortable at least. It’s a shame that it is impossible for people like him to access anything in the way of osteopath or chiropractic help. We have known this man a long time now. It’s horrible to see him in pain.
Kate came in and cut hair for eight people this week. She said mainly women which is unusual. Kate’s experience with hairdressing and working with rough sleepers and vulnerable people makes her compassionate, flexible and wonderful. So much so that she even cuts hair of people if they fall asleep!
Charmaine's Hair and Beauty
Thanking all those who supported and attended the event, Charmaine announced on her Facebook page that some £440.00 was raised during the evening but would like to achieve £500.00. Charmaine said:
Words Of Thanks
Lakeland contacted us this week and Meryl was invited to meet the store manager. They have offered us £500 to buy a piece of electrical equipment to use in the kitchen to cook, together with chocolate and novelty Christmas table games for our Christmas party. On top of that they gave us some excess stock that they had of which we can use in the kitchen. Jan our kitchen manager is going in next week to choose what she wants. Thank you to Lakeland and their support and generosity.
Tracey from Natures Corner and her husband came in with loads of stuff. They were on our table at the award ceremony recently at the racecourse. She said she was touched by Meryl’s speech and our award. They bought in jogging bottoms and practical items for our rough sleepers. They will support us further which is very kind of them.
We are overwhelmed by the response from the local community towards the Soup Kitchen and our announcement that we are hoping to expand. We plan to obtain a dedicated building and we have setup a charity this year to move this this objective forward and grow Newbury Soup Kitchen within it. Your generosity towards the rough sleepers, homeless and vulnerable in Newbury and West Berkshire benefit from everything you do.
We are now able to accept money donations and are in the process of setting up processes to do so. In the interim, donations of money can be made in cash or cheque (made payable to “Haven (West Berkshire)”) or via bank transfer to our Metrobank account: