Each Christmas we send Christmas cards to our clients and our team members across the UK making a donation to a charity on behalf of each person that receives a card. This Christmas we took some time researching local charities looking for one we could support. We looked for charities local to our head office in Newbury but also asked our teams if they had any charities that meant something to them. A name that popped up through research and through one of our team members Bex, who volunteers at the charity, was Loose Ends a drop in centre in Newbury that serves meals to the homeless and vulnerable.
What was initially started by Richard Westall as a sandwich on a Sunday now prepares and serves on average 140 healthy meals a week to those who drop in. Almost 30 years after it began there are now over 80 volunteers who give over 6,000 hours of their time a year to provide a safe and friendly space where people can socialise. The team not only provide hot meals to those who attend, they have also handed out approximately 2,600 food and toiletries parcels in 2017/18.
We visited Loose Ends this week to see for ourselves the great work that goes on in Morton Hall at Newbury Baptist Church. We arrived just as they received a food donation and were met by Julie Cobbett who showed us around the hall and the facilities that they have. It was clear to see that the volunteers who help have everything organised right down to the last can and have created a welcoming friendly environment where anyone would feel instantly comfortable.
The space allows their clients who are either homeless, ‘sofa surfing’, may have addictions or are on low incomes to come together and have the chance to receive help from other groups in an informal setting. Loose Ends works closely with other similar organisations to make sure that everyone that attends the sessions can be offered as much help as they need or would like.
After visiting the hall and speaking to the volunteers we are proud to support, for another year, such a hard working local charity. We recommend a visit to their website so you can read more about the great work they do during the 5 days a week they are open. Their website also has information on how you could help the charity through donations of either money, food, clothing, other useful items or even your time. Loose Ends also has an online wish list that you can order from that provides the team with exactly what they need to help those that attend the drop in sessions.
During this cold and snowy weather that has hit us recently in Newbury it is good to know that there are people out there willing to give their time to ensure that the more vulnerable people in society get a warm meal and are cared for. Loose Ends say that they exist to “show love to those in Newbury area who are in need through homelessness, addiction dependency and poverty with the aim of enabling them to access a healthier, balanced and productive life” and from what we saw the day we visited, they seem to be doing a very good job of it.
For more information on Loose Ends please visit their website.