Our director, Nicci Ashby ventured out again with our chosen charity for 2017, the Birmingham Homeless Outreach, on Tuesday 04 April. Meeting 6 nights a week at the Rag Market, they provide invaluable food, drink, and advice for people living on the streets of Birmingham.
After the success of the ‘cheesy bean spuds’ in March, we decided we would take this again in April. So after an afternoon of baking 50 potatoes, and armed with 4 bags of cheese, 4 litres of baked beans, 12 litres of lemonade, biscuits, chocolate, and 4 extra litres of boiling water to help the ‘tea and coffee makers’, we met at 8pm.
Greggs kindly donate a substantial amount of leftover food every day, but when piping hot food turns up, it really draws people to come and see what we are all about (including the guy who thinks we don’t realise he isn’t homeless, and comes for whatever free food he can get his hands on when he leaves the gym round the corner – but enough said about him). They never know what is going to turn up on a nightly basis, as all hot food is bought and prepared by the volunteers on a ‘when they can’ basis, so some nights it may be hot drinks only, some nights a soup kitchen, and at least once or twice a week, someone will arrive with full hot meals.
The 50 hot meals we provided went within about 40 minutes, and we continued to serve hot drinks (about 140 in total) until around 9.30pm. Some of the team then go for a ‘walk about’, finding others sleeping rough and handing out food parcels, sleeping bags and essential supplies where they are needed.
BHO are a small charity, and desperately seek both donations, and volunteers. If you live in and around the Birmingham area, and would like to get involved, contact Nicci Ashby (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.