The Birmingham Homeless Outreach was chosen at the start of the year to be our chosen charity for 2017.
For smaller businesses, it is not always possible to donate money in the sums that can make a big difference to larger charities, but this charity can really benefit from ANY donations, and benefits even more from a donation of our time.
On Wednesday 01 March we met the charity at the Rag Market in Birmingham for another volunteer evening. The charity meets every night to hand out clothing, food, sympathetic ears, and advice to those who have recently found themselves homeless. They rely on volunteers to provide the manpower to make this happen.
This time ASH (UK) Process Servers Ltd donated food, and a quantity of flasks to assist with the ongoing need for hot water to provide nightly hot drinks.
We took with us 50 hot baked potatoes, 7 litres of hot baked beans (that’s about 16 tins incase you are interested), 2 kg of grated cheese, 12 litres of lemonade, together with biscuits and chocolates, and the necessary cutlery and bowls to distribute it all. Arriving at 8pm, there were already a lot of people waiting for our arrival. Together with food parcels which Greggs donate every evening, and a vat of soup prepared by another volunteer, we were able to feed all of the 100+ people who came to the ‘drop in’ that evening. Another team of volunteers went on a ‘walkabout’ to find others sleeping rough, and hand out more food donations.
Whilst food can be provided every evening thanks to the nightly ‘left-overs’ donations from the 10 Greggs stores within Birmingham Centre, it was quite a novelty for people to receive something as substantial as a piping hot filling meal, and it was a true pleasure to receive so much heartfelt thanks.
Their dog companions were also fed, with dog food brought by volunteer Leslie, and some toiletries and clothing were given out to those who needed it.
We are now committed to going out with the charity at least once a month, and are also looking into other ways to assist with their fundraising to renovate a derelict building into a much needed hostel, and their ongoing work with local womens refuges.