19th May, 2021

Street kitchen helps homeless and vulnerable in Stratford

A KITCHEN for homeless and vulnerable people has been launched in Stratford.

Community group The Street Arts Project approached HR Coffee bar to run the kitchen from the Windsor Street cafe.

Catering manager Daniel Holland, who sought advice from Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) is now holding meal kitchens from Monday to Thursday and serving cooked breakfasts from Friday to Sunday. He said it was the ‘best thing he had ever done’.

He explained: “I spoke to Jackie Lines, a co- founder of Street Arts Project who asked if we could help with food and a support base for homeless people. She felt it was important that a healthy nutritious meal was provided during the pandemic and to offer somewhere to go each day to be valued and supported with additional needs. The food is paid for by Birmingham-based charity Socks & Chocs, who support Street Arts Project. It has turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done.

“We feed about 25 people a day. It is food we cook for our customers so it is good quality and a high standard and any food that is remaining is put into boxes so they can take it away and eat it at a later date.

“It has really inspired me to help out in other ways. We are gaining their respect and we are signposting people for advice with issues around health, housing and agency support.

The team is also looking to teach its customers cookery skills and to help them to secure apprenticeships with local businesses.

Daniel added: “We are working with Street Arts Project to start a cookery course to teach the homeless and vulnerable basic cooking skills and an art class to create designs for merchandise on the Street Arts Project website. It is all about giving them a purpose to live and a voice.

“The project is really working and now we’re looking at how we can expand by helping them to secure apprenticeships with local businesses.”

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