Festive banquets provide warmth and shelter for homeless in Skegness
The Storehouse provided a welcome retreat for men and women on Wednesday who had been struggling with the change in weather after the mild Christmas holiday.
It was the first of two events held last week - the second one took place yesterday (Saturday).
James Grogan has been homeless for two years. He said: “It’s no use trying to live in a tent when the weather is like this.
“I have a sleeping bag but it got wet last night. I took it round to friends to dry it out and get a wash and he told me about this lunch.
“I think today’s lunch is amazing.”
About a dozen homeless people and the volunteers who had taken time out from their own festive celebrations sat down to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding.
The food was donated by the Grosvenor House Hotel, including a donation from the Skegness Standard through the Buckingham Emergency Food charity. A donation of £1,100 from Charlie’s Team also contributed to meals provided by the Storehouse over the festive period.
Debby Harland, Restore co-ordinator at the Storehouse, said: “We can’t thank people enough for the donations, which as well as providing hot meals allowed us to provide Christmas dinners in parcels to the town’s most needy.
“We are also lucky to have such a marvellous band of volunteers who have turned out to help cook and serve the meals.”
Maria (Pirate Kate) Hansford raised a glass of sparkling grape juice to the team behind the lunch.
She said: “On behalf of everyone here I want to thank the Storehouse for everything they do for us.
“When I came to Skegness I was homeless and they gave me a warm welcome and helped me get back on my feet as they do everyone who comes here when they are going through a bad time.
“Without them we couldn’t survive.”
l Thanks to the generosity of local people a further lunch was held on Saturday. The Grosvenor House Hotel provided 1,650 meals, including the donation from the Skegness Standard, to the needy and elderly over the Christmas period. One of the donations also contributed to a festive lunch provided by the Salvation Army