Hastings Mayor Bruce Dowling and Deputy Mayor Judy Rogers joined volunteers, supporters and service users of Hope Kitchen in a 10th anniversary celebration service at Wellington Square Baptist Church.
During the service, held on Sunday November 15, two people, who are presently homeless, gave moving accounts of the welcome and support they had received at Hope Kitchen, with one describing the genuine smiles on the faces of volunteers and how his welcome was unconditional.
Roger Nuttall, a nurse practitioner with the St John Ambulance Homeless Service based at the Seaview project and a Hope Kitchen trustee, discussed some of the reasons why people become homeless. He showed a short video about a man who became homeless for five years after losing his job as a carer when his father died.
John, a volunteer with Hope Kitchen gave an account about the welcome he and his wife had received on joining the team. He reflected on stories from the guests at Hope Kitchen and how they cope with their struggles with life.
Other speakers included Mike Cooper and the Reverend Chris Sears who spoke about the story of the Prodigal Son being welcomed home by his father after wasting his inheritance on wild living.
Tea and a celebration cake were served and Christmas Cards designed by Mark Roberts were sold in aid of Hope Kitchen.
Hope Kitchen is a soup kitchen in the centre of Hastings open Thursday and Saturday evenings and welcomes anyone over 18 to have some soup and sandwiches, a hot drink and a chat. www. http://www.hopekitchenhastings.org.uk/