Local charity Hope Kitchen welcomed the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Michael Foster on Thursday March 9.
The former Hastings and Rye MP got a taste of life at the soup kitchen, enjoying homemade soup and a cup of tea while chatting with some of the guests.
Chairman of the charity, Michael Cooper says Mr Foster listened to some of the issues that people face while sofa surfing or sleeping outside. “He also talked to some of the volunteers who make the soup and sandwiches and spent time with the guests,” he said. “He was aware that there were considerably more people sleeping on the streets and struggling with housing issues this winter.”
Mr Foster said he was inspired by the warmth of volunteers towards the many guests, at the Wellington Square Baptist Church, Hastings (where the charity is based) and the fellowship, support and non-judgemental discussions that were taking place. He also discussed the need for some form of locker arrangement where items such as sleeping bags could be secured during the day.
Hope Kitchen is open Thursday and Saturday evenings and welcomes anyone in need of food and a hot drink 7.30-9pm. Guests can talk to volunteers and there’s limited supplies of sleeping bags for those sleeping rough, socks and toiletries. On Saturday evenings St John Ambulance Hastings Homeless Service offer treatment and advice.