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New homeless charity opens in Weston-super-Mare

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 October 2017

Volunteers from Victoria's Kitchen. Picture: Eleanor Young

Volunteers from Victoria's Kitchen. Picture: Eleanor Young

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A new homeless charity has been launched in Weston-super-Mare which will now ensure the town’s most vulnerable people have support available every weekday.

Victoria’s Kitchen opened its doors for the first time last week and welcomed sofa surfers and rough sleepers from across Weston.

MORE: North Somerset Council launches five-year scheme to curb homelessness.

The new charity is open from noon until 2.30pm every Thursday and will serve a two-course nutritious meal to more than 40 people each week.

The arrival of the new charity will mean there is now somewhere for homeless people to go every weekday – with help available from Somewhere To Go on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Emmanuel Church’s The Beacon running on Tuesdays.

The new scheme will help prevent homelessness. The new scheme will help prevent homelessness.

Project leader Pat Cocking said she ‘could not be happier’ with how the opening day went.

MORE: My ‘nightmare’ night sleeping rough on the streets of Weston.

She added: “I was touched to see some familiar faces and some new ones and, when someone asked me why we set the charity up, I simply explained because it needed to be done.

“We do not judge here. Anyone is able to come in and have a main meal and a pudding, which are all homemade, and get the care they need.

Homeless Woman Homeless Woman

“In the long term we would like to raise money for wash and showering facilities and perhaps set up a night shelter.”

The charity has been supported by the organisations such as the YMCA, Community Nurses and Acorn as well as A David, which provides the fruit and vegetables free of charge, and Quicks Catering Supplies.

MORE: YMCA appeal for more help with its Nightstop programme.

Pat previously worked at the Lighthouse charity’s King’s Table project before it was rebranded and set up as Victoria’s Kitchen, a charity in its own right.

Lighthouse Charity chairman, Denys Rayner, said: “The charity’s trustees decided it is time to set up foodbank and some of our other projects as their own entities.

“We have supported the setting up of Victoria’s Kitchen and will continue to support them, with all the money we receive going to those charities.

“We are in no way in financial difficulties, we are just passing the projects on and we will revisit Lighthouse’s next steps at the end of December.”

MORE: Landlords and North Somerset Council team up to introduce new housing scheme.

If you would like to support Victoria’s Kitchen, visit the charity on Thursdays at Victoria Methodist Church, in Station Road from noon until 2.30pm or email patcocking238@btinternet.com

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