I thought it would be much quieter tonight as some of our regular clients are now in accommodation. However, we had 31 people in throughout the evening. New people seem to find their way to us each week for good food, comfort and friendship. There will always be a need for places like the Soup Kitchen and Loose Ends to support the more vulnerable people in society. This cannot be done without the amazing volunteers who give up time from their busy lives and their families to help us. I’m so thankful for that.
Food And Drink
Today we were offered 80 2 litre pints of milk with a date of 14th March from a local dairy called Milk and More. As they were in date I could give them out. We accepted 40 so we managed to distribute them to local charities and the people that have recently been housed.
Chicken curry tonight and bread and butter pudding which went down well, Thorngrove is buying a commercial freezer for us to freeze more of our food donations as the supermarkets are so generous.
We had a new chap in this evening. He is homeless and has been since December. Luke has taken him under his wing. Emma our first aider sat down with him and worked out if he was in any physical risk. She has established that he had pending leg issues with ulcers and fluids retention. She is going to keep an eye on him. Hopefully, he will come back next week. I gave him some clothes, bedding, thermals and a laundry token. He’s been homeless on and off all his adult life according to Luke. Apparently, he is a gardener/landscaper by trade. We were surprised he did not know about the Soup Kitchen, Loose Ends or Lou who provides food for the rough sleepers on a Saturday in the wharf at 4pm. We gave him all the information we could so hopefully now he will get food every day.
Tony came in tonight, especially as the shelter has closed. He even ate some bread and butter pudding. He is not someone who usually likes to engage with the Soup Kitchen as he likes to keep himself to himself so that is a huge turnaround for him and us. Maybe is the reputation of Jan’s cooking!!!!
Some of the chaps that have recently been housed came in to see us. The Soup Kitchen is not just about food. They receive friendship and for some, it is some of their social life. They looked so upbeat and even though for some they are still adjusting it is comforting to know they are safe. One of them said today, I just want to get a job, I want someone to believe in me. Many of them seem to like the idea of gardening or landscape work. One of our guys has actually taken some voluntary work to stop the boredom until he finds employment.
This week he also provided some furniture to a couple of the people that have moved into new accommodation. We have been amazed by the generosity of the Newbury residents. They are pretty much sorted now I think. Life needs to calm down a bit for them now so they can settle into their new accommodation and get used to living together. It’s been a whirlwind for them.
This week we did an appeal for help with mending a laptop for the man who does all our graphic work. He has been a rough sleeper for two and a half years. He is now in accommodation and getting his life back on track. We have been overwhelmed with kindness and generosity with lots of offers of repairs and replacements.
The appeal page itself has had over 12,500 views which is staggering. It shows what a great town we live in. Hopefully, through this some of our other recently housed people will receive something too. Then they can look for work etc much more easily.
A lovely scene this evening, of one of our guests playing clock patience. We chatted about the memories we both had about being taught and playing clock patience with our grandmothers. He likes playing single card games, Lorna is going to teach him some more next week. It was lovely to share memories of our childhood.