A NEW scheme that will feed some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents is to launch next month.
The Salvation Army, helped by Churches Together in Wokingham, are to provide a hot lunch every day from Tuesday, December 1, through to the end of March next year. This includes Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
They will be available at 1pm, at the Army’s hall in Sturges Road.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the centre has already been providing takeaway meals three times a week, as well as offering ongoing support to those experiencing homelessness, are in temporary accommodation, or require ongoing tenancy support.
The halls have also been available for those who need to access its facilities, such as the shower room, laundry and kitchen. It also has been offering support with housing, benefits and signposting to services offered by Wokingham Borough Council and relevant charities and agencies, through an appointment system.
Captain Jan Howlin, from the Wokingham Salvation Army, said: “We hope to give, not only a hot meal, but a chance for a chat during these difficult times when isolation has become very real for so many.”
And she encouraged Wokingham residents to help those who need support at this time to receive it.
“If you see anyone sleeping rough then please contact Streetlink via www.streetlink.org.uk, or the council or send them to us for a hot meal – there is plenty of help for them in Wokingham.
“However we do a few entrenched homeless who are not willing, at this time, to accept housing, they are known to the agencies involved. As much as we would like zero homeless in Wokingham some people, even with full support, choose to live outside.
“We will continue to support them without judgment as life can be overwhelming and for many they have disengaged with everyone including family.”
The Army is appealing for support for the scheme. Residents can donate food, time or money to help make the daily meals a reality, and to support its work across the year with the borough’s vulnerable population.
And Churches Together in Wokingham said it was pleased to be able to help.
Its chair, the Revd Nick Hudson, said: “As churches in the town we’ve been cooperating in various ways to support the Salvation Army’s crucial work with the homeless over a number of years.
“This new scheme of providing a daily meal is a good response to the challenges posed by Covid-19, and we’re hoping it will provide not only food but a chance for some welcome human contact and support for vulnerable people during the coldest months.”
For more details, search Facebook for Wokingham Salvation Army. Alternatively, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org