Tonight’s 49 people came through the door! The Kitchen ladies were exhausted by the end of it. They were extremely busy and all the food was consumed. Jan had made mushroom soup for the first course then there was bangers and mash with red cabbage and onion gravy with pear and apple crumble with custard made by Meryl. We have a client who is vegan. We are donated quite a lot of Jack fruit products from Waitrose so we are catering for him too now. Vegetarian eaters are also able to have the same meal if they wish so that works well. Jan usually makes a vegetarian option too.
Sue, our wonderful and supportive PCSO was on duty this evening, she volunteers every week whether she is on duty or not. This week Sergeant Simon White also came in to see us with a new officer who has just joined the team. They stayed for most of the session which was brilliant. The police support us and are very keen to build relationships with our clients too. They pop in for a cup of tea from time to time. It also makes it very clear to everybody that appropriate behaviour is expected at all times and we will clamp down very quickly on any behaviour that is either illegal or antisocial. Regular visits from the police will keep our clients on their toes. Having said that we have an arrangement with the police that The Soup Kitchen is a place is a sanctuary and safety for all. The police will not come into the Soup Kitchen and arrest anyone they may be looking for.
Trouble Engaging with Services
This week a client came in frustrated with themselves. They keep missing doctors appointments but constantly promise that they will engage. This person needs to see a GP and engage with Swanswell. During our discussions, they said that recently they had taken an overdose of all their medication but felt foolish as it just made them sleep for ages and woke up feeling dreadful. We asked why and they said they just feel so alone and struggling with their life and where it has ended up. Addiction controls all thoughts, decisions and every moment of every day. The HOLT team are based at Swanswell on a Friday morning which is a team of nurses from Reading who specifically funded for the more vulnerable people in our community who struggle to make and keep doctors appointments. We signposted this person there, Meryl does attend doctors appointments with clients if they wish also.
Mental Capacity Training
This week some of our volunteers attended A Mental Capacity Act 2005 training at Shaw House School. We are training our volunteers in training programmes that are appropriate for the role they place within the Soup Kitchen. It helps us understand more clearly how to recognise a client’s Mental Capacity at that time and if appropriate request the help they need from paramedics and medical services.
The Red House and Castle Pub are holding a quiz night in aid of Newbury Soup Kitchen. We would appreciate the support as fundraising is a way for us to be able to sustain necessary food purchases and training. The quiz night should be fun. Six people to a team, there is a lovely menu from 5.30-9pm which is £10 a head.
Sue, our new foot health specialist came in to meet everyone this week. She is coming next week to get started. Rough sleepers and people who struggle to look after themselves often have health problems such as diabetes which affect the feet as neuropathy is a symptom. Infection can spread very quickly in feet as neuropathy causes numbness, People who live in shoes and socks all the time often sit in wet shoes or do not cut their toe mails which need attention. Sue will spend time to get to know our clients and work with them gaining their trust and over time hopefully improve their foot health.
We are looking for a Treasurer to join our amazing team of Trustees as unfortunately, our existing Trustee is unable to volunteer ongoing.
The treasurer will be required to take the lead at board meetings on all financial matters associated with the charity, this will include:
- Making sure the charity keeps proper accounts
- Reviewing the charity’s financial performance
- Drawing up or reviewing policies for finance and investment
- Ensuring that the charity has robust and effective financial controls in place
- Liaising with finance staff and with the charity’s independent examiner or auditor
- Reporting on financial matters to the board.