Hope Of A Flat, Showers And An Award

It was a quieter night tonight with 32 people in total through the door. Jan had cooked Lasagne, I think it is the most popular other than the Wagyu burgers. Most people had two helpings.

It was nice to see Jan able to come out of the kitchen for a bit and sit with some of the guests. Lasagne is less stressful to serve than other meals so I think it generally a bit calmer in the kitchen.


Healthwatch kindly also brought sandwiches left over from their “Thinking together event” which they held today at the Baptist Church, thank you to them and their continued support of the Soup Kitchen.

Thinking Together Event

The “Thinking Together” event today was interesting, some of our regular clients came too and we sat together. The poor chap from The Crisis team got a hard time. People in the room explained how their experiences had been dealt with. It was great to have professionals in local mental health, volunteers and people who use our services altogether in the same room.

It came across again and again that “Empathy fatigue” is a problem and people who use and need the services are not, they feel listened to. We are so proud to see and hear young adults who in the past have been angry and mistrusting standing up and speaking in a direct and eloquent fashion. One chap, in particular, talked about his issues and experiences and often feeling let down, fobbed off and moved about from pillar to post as departments do not communicate with each other.

Hopefully, comments made by two of our regular Soup Kitchen guests and other people at the event will be taken into account.

Philip also stood up to thank the Soup Kitchen, Loose Ends and Eight Bells for all their help and support and said he would not be where he was today without the support of the volunteer sector. It really was touching.

A man spoke from SCIP. It is a website with local charities and organisations in our area. We will make sure the Soup Kitchen is included on this website that is being updated at present.

SEAP Support

Julia from SEAP is going to continue to sort out continual benefit problems and try to help with getting sanctions lifted. She has such a good rapport with the clients. It is lovely to have so many amazing volunteers on the team.

Seeing our lovely clients talking about a terrible toothache and teeth problems and due to sanctioning so no money to get treatment. Julia helps them fill out forms for them to get the free treatment they require. However, these things still take two weeks. That’s a long time when you have a toothache. It is so frustrating for us to see people in pain. What is the solution?

Bidding On A Flat

Two of our youngest guests are bidding on a flat. Hopefully, they will be high on the list due to being so young and rough sleeping. They looked exhausted tonight. We made sure this week they had sandwiches and tuna salads. I talked to them about their excitement and plans for the future. At the moment all she can focus is hearing on whether they have somewhere to live. We talked about the furniture they would need. All she wanted was a sofa bed so her sister would be able to visit! They said they are used to sleeping on the floor on a mattress so we’re not worried about a bed initially. We hope they get their dream home and we will help them as much as we can nearer the time with furniture.

Showers At Northcroft Leisure

Chris, our relatively new guest to the Soup Kitchen took away today a toilet bag with some toiletries in and a flannel. We had a laugh as he asked if I had a towel but all I could find was a flannel. He found that highly amusing. WBH will pay for a shower on a Friday morning at Northcroft Leisure 9-12. They just now have to book in with us on a Thursday evening.

More New Faces

A couple of new people in and so homelessness continues! I gave a lot of head torches out this evening so stocks have depleted. We desperately need some more so why not head over to our wish list page and see if you can help us. Anything you can help us with no matter how big or small is massively appreciated!

Our volunteers provide so much continued support, help, patience and laughter. The Soup Kitchen would be nothing without every single one of them.

And Finally

Congratulations Sue Gillespie who won a High Recommendation Civic award from Newbury Town Council on Monday. Well deserved. You work so hard and give so much. Your continued love and support towards the vulnerable in our town are second to none. The homeless and rough sleepers really appreciate and trust you. Trust is a rare thing in the rough sleeper community. One of our more established homeless men said tonight and I quote!!! “She ain’t bad for a copper! I like her! She’s alright she is”!!