Homeless / drop-in
Every Saturday for over a decade St Andrew’s has been running a busy weekly brunch project for those men and women who are homeless or particularly vulnerable in the area.
"Coming here is the highlight of my week" (A grateful guest)
St Andrew’s Homeless Project
Under pre-COVID-19 circumstances, we were open almost every Saturday of the year, offering a hot, home-cooked, 3-course lunch, endless teas and coffees (with pastries and fruit as available), shower facilities, towels and free toiletries, second-hand clothing, take away sandwiches and Hillsong Church providing a frontline medical support service through their fortnightly medical van. There was also a short communion service at 9.30am for any who wanted to join. Doors were open at 7am and brunch was served from 10.15am onwards. We closed around midday.
We averaged around 75 guests each week (more in winter and fewer in summer) and the service was all provided entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers from the local area – some church members, others not; some guests who help; some children from the local school on placements; some young people on community placement through the Youth Offending Team, and volunteers completing the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme. The senior, regular volunteers were DBS checked. The volunteers prepared and cooked a nutritious 3-course meal, serve at the tables, washed up and cleaned the whole area (including toilets and shower).
The cost of providing this service is around £1 per person each day. We receive help towards these costs through donations in kind from church members, our local schools, the local butcher HG Walters (who provide all our meat each week at no cost), City Harvest, Tesco, and through the Waitrose green tokens scheme. We have recently been made a Partner with the Pret Foundation and we receive financial assistance to the weekly grocery costs and the replacement of any kitchen equipment needed. But these donations are not sufficient to cover our costs, and do not allow for extra costs or contributions to the costs of utilities. So, we are always keen to explore sponsorship options with potential partners and are very grateful for any donations – financial, food or toiletries. We are also glad to welcome new volunteers – some come almost every week, others dip in and out as far as other time commitments allow. All are welcome!
All that we do here, we do from a conviction that God’s love extends to all, and that through Jesus God demonstrated a particular concern for the vulnerable and rejected of society. So, this is a place where all are welcome.
St Andrew’s Church Homeless Project
To enable us to provide for our guests throughout the year, we welcome any of the following items at any point throughout the year:
Tinned fruit (pineapple, pear, prunes…)
Rice (preferably basmati)
Pasta (NOT spaghetti or lasagne)
Sunflower / olive oil
Chocolate for baking
Dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, dates etc)
Pot noodles (popular on our foodbank)
Toiletries / underwear
Toothpaste & toothbrushes
Socks (in good condition or new)
NEW underpants for men & women
£5 phone top-up vouchers or eg Tesco £5 gift cards
Financial support towards purchase of disposable containers, cutlery, mugs, bags etc.
Monetary donations can be made via our website: find out more
As a Church, we rely on the generosity of our community to carry out our weekly activities. We receive no funding from the State or the Church of England. Click here to find out more.
Become a volunteer
Volunteers are an integral part of our team at St Andrew's, without them we wouldn't be able to serve our community in the way we do. We're always looking for more people to join our teams!