About Hope Kitchen

How we started

Hope Kitchen began In autumn 2005 when a group of friends started thinking about the needs of various people in the town. Hastings and St Leonards have high levels of deprivation. Many people are poorly housed, suffer from mental health problems and have issues with alcohol and drug misuse.

Ways were sought to reach out to these people, to offer them hope, compassion and friendship through the love of Christ. Where appropriate, it was hoped to  encourage them towards recovery.

Among others, Dr Mike Cooper and Rev Chris Sears recognised the need for a soup kitchen to be established In the town. After a few informal meetings, a dozen people came forward from different backgrounds, all committed to working together for this purpose. The priority was to seek God's help for the best way to reach out and show His love to these people.

In December 2005, three teams of 4-5 people went out on Saturday evenings with soup and bread looking to find people in genuine need. After a few weeks, It became obvious that the people being reached needed to be nourished In a place which was safe and warm. At this time, Wellington Square Baptist Church, in the town centre of Hastings, was looking for ways to serve the poor in their neighbourhood. They generously made their basement available on Saturday evenings and Hope Kitchen opened its doors for the first time.

After a few months, more volunteers offered their help and soon the Kitchen could also be opened on Thursday evenings. With just a short break during the summer holiday period, the Kitchen has continued to operate twice-weekly and, on average, 30 guests are welcomed and supported In any way possible.

In 2008, Hope Kitchen became a registered charity known as Hope Trust Hastings.

Service With A Smile

Trustees

Mike Cooper - Chairman
Chris Sears - Vice Chairman
George Hornsby
Sylvia Tolcher
Katie Harrison
Edward Towner
Maria Hudd
Complaints Procedure

What Are Our Aims?

Our vision is "God's love transforming lives".

Our mission Is "to support people marginalised by poverty, homelessness and addictions; Inspiring them to make changes In their lives. We aim to achieve this physically, emotionally and spiritually:

  • physically: through the provision of food, clothing, housing, signposting, advocacy and other practical support,
  • emotionally: through friendship, encouragement, lending a listening ear and through building confidence and self-belief,
  • spiritually: we recognize that people have a spiritual dimension to their Ives and we hope to encourage that through prayer, reflection and fellowship. We believe that faith, hope, love and forgiveness (of oneself and others) can transform lives.
Hope Kitchen Friends

What we do?

We open two evenings a week from 7.30-9pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. Everyone Is welcome to enjoy homemade soup and sandwiches, a hot drink and friendly company. Our volunteers are encouraged to listen and be non-judgmental. We can give advice on where to receive further help with housing, drug and alcohol and health problems. Volunteers are mostly from local churches but we do not preach or Impose our views. With respect and sensitivity at times we will offer to pray for our guests and their various needs we value their prayers for us too. On Saturday evenings we are joined by volunteers from the St John Ambulance Homeless service. They offer advice and treatment for health related issues and usually have a trained nurse on duty. 

In The Kitchen

Help towards a home

In the last few years we have been able to give financial help towards accommodation and startup costs. This ls done carefully, working with other agencies such as Homeworks, Seaview and Fulfilling Lives. We will often contribute towards a deposit on a property or help to fund essential items such as a bed, furniture or other items.

Hope Kitchen Cake