After a conversation with Hannah from The Bridge East Midlands, we were invited to participate in an initiative to provide a free hot meal for the vulnerable and homeless just before Christmas. A team from Pukka Pies were keen to be involved as they were working to support their local communities in Charnwood. They visited Fearon Hall in November to discuss the event details and it was decided that it would take place on the 6th December in place of our usual lunchtime Good Grub Social Club. We would have 3 sittings to avoid queues building up and people havng to wait outside in the cold. Pukka Pies would donate 250 pies and send a team of staff to help serve and manage the day.
We had a team of volunteers and staff supporting the event serving tea, coffee & squash to everyone. In the end we had just over 80 attendees on the day! Most had pre-booked but some turned up unannounced when they heard about free food being offered – but everyone was made to feel welcome.
The Bridge –East Midlands CEO Naishad Chhatralia attended on the day to support the project and he also brought along two teams of his staff (morning & afternoon shifts) to support with serving the food. Naishad said the day was amazing and thanked all 3 partners for their contributions.
Also in attendance were a team from a Leicester based firm Technology Leasing who were volunteering in the community before Christmas.
The event ran smoothly, everyone had a seat and no one had to wait outside. The food was cooked to perfection in the special ovens which Pukka Pies brought with them. Attendees had a choice of flavours, there were cheese & onion slices, steak pies, chicken & mushroom pies, sausage rolls and a vegan pie, all served with chips and mushy peas in takeaway containers. Attendees could have more than one pie if they wanted and some took pies home with them to eat at a later date.
Those attending were a few of our Fearon Hall regulars as well as some homeless who had heard about the event from the Bridge or the Falcon Centre. Two people arrived very cold and advised us that they were living in a tent along the canal bank! We made sure that they received some extra support on the day from The Bridge specialist support staff. Lots of lonely and vulnerable individuals as well as a number of people from the recovery community came to the event and enjoyed the delicious hot food.
Everyone left having had a lovely day, no one went away hungry and Pukka Pies are keen to visit us again in 2024 to run a similar event.
Thanks a million to the teams from Pukka Pies, The Bridge East Midlands and Technology Leasing along with all the other volunteers involved who helped make it such a successful day.