We receive a number of communications from members of the public who ask the same or similar questions. This FAQ page has been created to answer the most popular questions. You may have been directed here in response to writing to us.

Updated: 19th February 2019

Visiting And Donation Drop-Offs

The Newbury Soup Kitchen is open to serve food between the hours of 6pm and 8pm each and every Thursday evening. However, there is normally a group of volunteers at the Salvation Army Hall from 4:30pm each Thursday setting up. You are welcome between 4:30pm and 5:30pm to drop off any donations. May we please ask that visits from the public are by appointment only anytime thereafter.

There is normally a group of volunteers at the Salvation Army Hall from 4:30pm each Thursday setting up. You are more than welcome to drop them off between these times. Please do not come during the open session as it is quite busy and we cannot always dedicate the time to speak with our benefactors.

Employment Plus is also located at the Salvation Army Hall  and is open Thursdays between 2pm and 4:30pm. Employment Plus are happy to accept donations for us within their opening hours.

We also have collection points at the Co-op in Brummell Road Speen, Harpers Garage in Hungerford and Charmaine’s Hair and Beauty on Hambridge Road. Small items can always be dropped off at these points.

We normally have some 15 to 20 volunteers and between 45 and 55 clients during our weekly sessions. This obviously can be very busy for us. We respectfully ask that you make an appointment if you wish to visit us within our opening hours. You are welcome between 16.30pm and 17.30pm to drop off donations.

Absolutely yes. Unfortunately we are unable to allow people under the age of 18 into the Soup Kitchen during opening hours. We would welcome you to come along during our session setup, anytime between 4:30pm and 5:30pm. We will be happy to explain to the youngsters what the Soup Kitchen is all about and how they can help. All we ask is that you contact us to make an appointment in the first instance so we can allocate you some time.


Our need for volunteers changes on a regular basis. Please keep an eye out for positions appearing on our Facebook and Twitter social media channels and also our Volunteers Wanted page too. Please be aware that an Enhanced DBS check for vulnerable adults is required and we ask for (and check) references.

Simply for safeguarding reasons, people under the age of 18 are unable to volunteer at the Soup Kitchen. Sorry.

Food Donations

We are afraid we cannot accept such donations of homemade food. We have to adhere to strict protocols to maintain our Food Hygiene Rating and we insist that anybody who cooks for us has the Food Hygiene Level 2 qualification too. Allowing outside or third party cooking could render us in breach of these protocols.

We receive a fantastic source of food donations from local suppliers such as supermarkets and bakeries. We are also able to source ingredients from the Foodbank. Sometimes the generosity of the public is so overwhelming that we end up donating some food back to the Foodbank. We recommend that if you have any unwanted packet or tinned food, then you please contact the Foodbank in the first instance.

This can be tricky and a difficult one to answer. We have a strong supply chains in situ from the local supermarkets, bakeries and cafes which provide ready made and raw ingredients. As we are only open on a Thursday evening, we plan our meal menu from the supermarket supplies. Adhoc provision of unused food from catering companies can be difficult logistically. Our friends at Loose Ends are open five days a week. Perhaps they would be interested?

Our homeless and rough sleepers do take away food from us at the end of each session. Plastic potted foods like Pot Noodles, Quaker Oat So Simple Pots or Mugshot Pasta and Noodle flavours are easy to be transported and eaten with simple boiled water.

Clothing Donations

We can typically accept most items of clothing, though we ask that you contact us first as sometimes we have excess stocks of some garments. We ask that all items of clothing be washed, dried and aired prior to donation. We respectfully request that clothing should be of a nearly new condition without holes, rips or tears. Similarly we request that donated items come from a smoke free and pet free household.

We are not able to accept underwear for personal hygiene reasons.

If you do not think your old clothing will suit our needs, then there are a number of recycle facilities for fabrics and clothing around Newbury. Tesco at Pinchington Lane near the retail park as a clothing collection point and also the West Berkshire Recycling Centre on Newtown Road are two examples.

If dropping off to the Recycling Centre, please do not forget your entry permit.

Bedding Donations

Similar to clothing donations, we ask that all sleeping bags be washed, dried and aired prior to donation. We respectfully request they should be of a nearly new condition without holes, rips or tears.

We can accept brand new, but unfortunately we are not able to accept previously used duvets for personal hygiene reasons.

Product Donations

The easiest way at the moment is to visit our Amazon Wish List which we keep this list fresh with the items we need.

Online Shopping

Yes. You can jump there right now via this https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1179298-0 link to our HAVEN (West Berkshire) registered charity account. Using this link, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your order value to us. If you want to permanently set us as your continued chosen charity, simply follow this process:
  • Instead of going to https://www.amazon.co.uk, you shop via https://smile.amazon.co.uk/
  • Then, under the ‘Your Account’ drop down menu, scroll down and click on to ‘Change Your Charity’
  • Under ‘Or pick your own charitable organisation’, enter either 1179298 or Haven (West Berkshire) and click on the ’Search’ button.
  • When Haven (West Berkshire) is presented, click the ‘Select’ button.

Then, whenever you order via the https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ website, HAVEN will receive 0.5% commission.


The delivery address within our Amazon Wish List account is that of a volunteer where there is someone at home each day. We have found that some Amazon orders are received with no documentation whatsoever. To check that your goods have been received, please contact us with your order number and we will reconcile to the box label. It maybe a good idea to let us know when an order has been placed as many deliveries arrive unannounced.

Of course. Our Amazon Wish List was created for ease as the deliveries come direct to us. You are more than welcome to use the Wish List as a guide and procure desired items from wherever you please. It would be nice if you could support our local businesses and High Street.

Please send to:

The Newbury Soup Kitchen
C/O Harpers Garage
Unit 3, Smitham Bridge Road
Berkshire, RG17 0QP

Money Donations

This is most welcome, thank you. You may pop in to the Soup Kitchen on a Thursday evening. Please see the FAQ regarding our opening times and visiting us. Alternatively you can you contact us to arrange an appointment at a time to suit you.

You are more than welcome. Please contact us in the first instance as we can help with advertising your event or activity too.

No. JustGiving applies very high fees and charges – thus reducing donations quite considerably. They also apply a monthly account charge which doesn’t help.

Contact Us

For general enquiries, please use our contact form. To ask us a specific question, please use the form at the bottom of this page should you not find the answer here.

You can contact Meryl via email through her profile page.

You can contact Mai-Britt via email through her profile page.


This can be quite confusing as there are four main charity and not-for-profit organisations within Newbury and West Berkshire. Each have their own niche but work in synchronous harmony. They are the Newbury Soup Kitchen, Two Saints, Loose Ends and West Berkshire Homeless.

Questions Still Unanswered?