While we may be throwing the duvet off the
bed during these hot summer nights, it’s easy
to forget that people in and around our city
struggle to keep warm through the night.
Many of our Friends need more than a hot meal in their belly,
and The People’s Kitchen has a clothing store which holds a
range of donated clothing; either second-hand or purchased
new from the Amazon Wish List. Essentials are available any
time Friends come for a meal, and clothing store volunteers
set up twice a week in the Kitchen to give Friends a full service.
Barbara, a dedicated volunteer from the clothing store,
“The clothing store distributes clothes, footwear and sleeping
bags on Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons from
the Kitchen, and also at Outreach and other sessions. As
well as clothes, we give out large bags of toiletries which
Friends are always delighted to receive. We have an open
door policy, aiming to meet the needs of whoever comes
through the door.”
Many Friends arrive with only the clothes they stand up in.
Providing there is stock, volunteers ensure they have socks,
boxer shorts, joggers/jeans, t-shirts, jumpers/hoodies, a coat
and, whenever possible, trainers, although these are always
in short supply. Friends also often need either a rucksack or
holdall to carry their belongings.
Barbara adds: “Quite often, Friends’ belongings are stolen
while they sleep because they have no place to store them.
It’s heartbreaking to think someone would steal from such
“Some of the Friends have had extremely difficult upbringings
and it is rewarding to be able to chat with them; they quite
often open up about their lives and tell me how they came
to be in this situation.
“For some, being homeless can also mean having to wear
the same clothes for long periods of time and never being
able to take their trainers off for fear of them being stolen.
This can result in athlete’s foot or Trench foot, which is one
of the reasons we like to give them fresh socks each week.
“Being able to take a shower is much appreciated by the
homeless, as for some it is the only time in the week they
have access to running water. Most Friends love a hug
as it can sometimes be the only affection they receive.
We treat each other with mutual respect and gratitude,
and their manners are almost always impeccable.
“They appreciate the food, the clothing, the company and
everything about The People’s Kitchen. It is a gem in the
heart of our wonderful city, made possible by the generosity
of people far and wide giving their time and money.”