More than soup – Friendship

More than just soup  – Friendship

The 6th in our series of more than just soup. 5 minutes in the hot seat.

What is your name, nickname, pseudonym or prefer not to say?


How long have you been volunteering at Newbury Soup Kitchen?

Since last autumn

What keeps you busy when you are not volunteering?

Managing farms overseas

Can you remember your 1st day at Newbury Soup Kitchen?

Yes! Mai-Britt and me in the van, taking food to clients at the Hare and Hounds: Phil bursting out of the door; then everyone settling and good banter. Several of our clients looked quite scary but I have got to know them now and I understand their situations. 

Did you have any preconceived ideas about Homeless & Vulnerable before you started volunteering? And have these now changed?

I had experience as a child of H&V people coming to our door (the Vicarage) so not really, but I feel angry that they are not supported early on in life. So many would not be in the situation they are in if they had a good childhood and teen years. I didn’t appreciate that was such a common factor, but talking to so many of our clients, this is a big part of the problem.

Why Newbury Soup Kitchen?

Wrong time, wrong day in Waitrose car park.

I have had such a rich and fulfilling experience, albeit with some big ups and downs, that I was lucky to be in that parking space! What a lovely team and how much of an impact we can make, albeit with this small group of clients who have such complex needs, but actually just need to have a kind person relate to them as a human.

What is the one thing you would say to someone that is thinking about volunteering?

Everyone ought to volunteer at some point in their life. It not only should feel like an obligation to give something back, if you have been fortunate, but it can feed the soul too.

What is one of your fondest memories thus far about Newbury Soup Kitchen?

RB being a “human sign” when we parked the food truck for the first time at the Wharf. Hilarious, but also him doing his bit.

And finally If you could offer any advice to our homeless & vulnerable clients what would it be?

There is always someone who will treat  you with respect and kindness. You just need to seek them out. And if you want, you can have a different life, with the right support.