How You Can Help

We always need good volunteers at Hope Kitchen. It's a great place where you can help to make a difference to people's lives.

How does it work? What would I do? I can't make soup!

Here's a brief run through of a typical evening - though each one is very different because we are people-centred.

One of us will be the duty chef for the evening and will have arrived by about 4:00 p.m. to prepare the soup or pasta bake.

6:30 p.m. - The other volunteers arrive to either assist in the kitchen (buttering rolls, preparing the fillings for the rolls) or to work upstairs in the church foyer putting out the tables and getting things ready.

There is a brief prayer before we open the doors at 7:30 p.m. In fact, if the soup is all ready by 7:15 p.m. and we have guests waiting we open the doors then.

6:45 pm
Kitchen 2

Since the pandemic we have operated a take-away service which works as follows:

One person will sit at the front desk offering a friendly welcome to our guests and taking their order. There is normally a choice of two different soups or pasta bakes plus two freshly-filled rolls (choice of several different fillings), some biscuits and a coffee, tea, hot chocolate or squash.

One volunteer will be the ‘Gopher’: they take the order from the person on the desk and take it to the team inside which comprises:

One volunteer filling soup containers
Three volunteers filling rolls
One volunteer doing teas and coffees

The Gopher collects the completed order and hands it to the guest.

We try to spend as much time as we can listening to guests, hearing about their day, their needs and worries. We may be able to encourage them to seek specific help, for example by giving the details of where to get advice for a drug/alcohol problem or housing needs. Some may ask us to pray for their problems, some prefer not to talk and will just eat their soup and sandwiches and then leave. We try to accept each person and respect his or her privacy.

Some guests are in need of items like sleeping bags, warm hats, gloves, socks etc. and we try to keep a stock of these to give out as needed.

7:30 pm
Hope Kitchen 1

At 8:30 p.m. we say goodbye to our guests, pack away the tables and chairs, hoover the floor, clean the toilets and clear and clean the kitchen. We are normally away by 9:00 p.m.

If you do not feel able to do this type of work but would still like to offer some practical support, perhaps you could consider fund-raising. Without regular donations we would not be able to keep the Kitchen running or to plan any long-term projects.

9:00 pm
Hope Kitchen 2

If you think you could be involved in this work in some way,
please contact Ed Towner on 07799 472462.

We offer supervision and support to help you feel your way into the work.

In view of the responsibility and sensitivity involved in the work, before becoming an official volunteer, we will need to take up references and invite you to an informal Trustees' interview.

Next step