Medway Soup Kitchen- a view from Sue Mcgreevy - a long-term supporter and first time visitor.
Last weekend I got to do something that I had wanted to do for a very long time. I witnessed the "Chatham Soup Kitchen". Wow, just, WOW!
The turnout numbers were staggering! Not just those unfortunate to be in need but also the number of volunteers that turned out with cars full food, drink and love.
The menu consisted of hot dishes including kebabs, bolognese, potatoes etc. Plus sausage sandwiches provided by Sue's Cafe in Gillingham
There were hot or cold drinks to wash it down with.
Bags were packed with fresh fruit, cakes and sandwiches to be taken away after what I can only describe as a happy, social gathering. These people are so down on their luck it is heartbreaking. But it seems that this is only the case for those of us that are able to eat when we want, sleep in warm clean comfy beds, shower/bath when we like.
The "unfortunate" ones were happy, singing, chatting, laughing.......it was time for us to join in. One thing that stood out for me was the vast differences in ages of these people. We had youngsters that in my view, should have still been at home with families to a more elderly couple that turned up slightly later for a quick bite and a hair cut. Yes there were lots of people wanting trims or head shaves due to the recent heat.
Two of the younger people we spoke to had young dogs that were clearly their "babies". No, actually they are more than that. It seems that these pets have been a huge influence on their mental health becoming more stable. This sadly comes at a price though, as most hostels won't allow pets. A relatively free treatment for Mental Health is cast away and so the problem continues. These people remain vulnerable and forgotten by the powers that be. We must continue the fight.
The volunteers go out of their way to ensure everyone is fed and more importantly made to feel welcome - lots of conversations & hugs were evident, nobody was left out.
All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart for OBF Helping the Homeless for their totally non judgemental and non stop love and work for these people. I, for one will most definitely continue with all the help and support that I can give and I beg you to continue with yours!!! Xxx