Pinky a regular visitor to our meal programmes shows off the new cloth bags we have been giving away.
This week we have stepped up our services at our Meals for the Homeless project in Ilford. Whereas previously we were providing soap powder for washing clothes and bottles of cooking oil, once a month we have decided to increase this to a weekly provision, after a number of our regular visitors asked for help. These can be collected by local families as well as the temporarily-housed former homeless.
We share a few videos all are less than 30 seconds long:
Preparing bags of soap powder for our homeless visitors.
Juliet has not fully recovered from a broken and dislocated arm (after accident during trip to Waltham Abbey with local youth) that has resulted in loss of mobility and pain in her right arm, buts still works tirelessly for our homeless visitors.
Sugar and washing powder
We were also able to distribute three coats thanks to the generous donation of an Indian origin Christian now a resident of Bromley (click here).
Pinky will be warmer this winter.
Thanks to Event Cycle a group which works with event companies and venues ensuring their unwanted products are shared with local charities, we have been giving away free, clean, completely new; T-Shirts and cloth bags.
This is of course in addition to our food bank and hot meal provision to economically challenged families and the homeless.
Surrinder a regular visitor to our ‘Meals for the Homeless’ project said:
“We have never been treated like this before – I feel like royalty.
“Its difficult getting washing powder for free and when your so close to a laundrette (our shopping arcade has one 4 shops down the road we have agreed some free use for our visitors) its a perfect gift.
“We are used to having used T-shirts cleaned up and handed to us and that’s great.
“But having a new T-shirt is something special its so rare – I love the colour.”
Rajeshri Chouhan our volunteer displaying one of the T-shirts we have been giving away. Charity Comms is not to be mistaken with the Charity Commission.
Pinky took one of the coats we gave away, she said:
“These coats were almost new and perfect for the cold weather.
“I have always been embarrassed about asking for a bag to carry my food away in, these cloth bags look great and will last longer.
“Plastic bags rip to easily.”
We are particularly pleased about the gift of cloth bags as we provide a lots of food and gifts to our regular visitors. They often need one because they have lost their own bags, had them stolen or they have simply ripped. Moreover, these cloth bags are reusable and biodegradable and it fits in well with our environmental policy.
We hope to do more at the centre but our food collections and deliveries requires a lot of fuel. We need an electric vehicle to make this work more viable for the future and encourage our supporters to help us raise the finance to make this happen. Our current petrol vehicle is over 15 years old and only just passed a recent MOT after a repair to the exhaust. If you can help us get an electric vehicle please donate (here).
The venue we use for our Meals for the Homeless Project is Clementswood Community Centre which was started by us over 10 years ago and is well known locally. Though no longer under British Asian Christian Association’s control we have free access three days a week to continue providing our meals service.
Our Meals for the Homeless Project was one of only few support groups in Redbridge during the first and most difficult lockdown. Over 65 people visited us two times a day at a time when homeless and economically deprived families found it most hard to get food on their plates. Our work even featured in a BBC News report due to Hannah Chowdhry who founded and led the early project:
You can learn more about the meals for the homeless project in our review (here)