15 Years And Going Strong
There have been some lovely stories emerging about the organisations that have sprung up recently who’re providing food for those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic but we mustn’t forget the organisations that have been providing food and support for the homeless and vulnerable all year round. I can think of several and during this lockdown period I have had time to contemplate and decide what I value and what I am truly grateful for. As I look around and see more and more people doing wonderful things for the community I realise that I could and should (and will) be doing more.
I find a lot of my contacts through Twitter and several people really stand out for their kindness, selflessness and community spirit. Some of the things they do without the need for praise or recognition is truly humbling and it’s worth remembering that they don’t have to do what they do. They could have an easy life and leave the volunteering to someone else. That said, if all the volunteers stopped what they were doing to leave the help for others to do, nothing would get done and the country would really be in dire straights! Society owes the volunteers a great debt and with that in mind, I hope to write about some or all of them in my blogs to let their stories be known.
One such group is the Grimsby Food Kitchen which is run Cath and Ken with help from some of their lovely volunteers. In normal circumstances (outside of the Covid-19 restrictions) Cath and Ken provide emotional support to the homeless and vulnerable people in the area with hugs and smiles flowing freely. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be homeless and without human contact but I can imagine that the Grimsby Food Kitchen is much more than just a place to visit for Sunday lunch.
Sometimes, when you’re faced with the worry of having to move premises the answer is right on your doorstep. A very generous donation by Pete and Tricia saw the GFK move into new premises rent free for as long as they need it. Along with a donation of £4000 from the Lincolnshire Community Foundation @LincolnshireCF as well as generous donations from the Rotary International, Humberston Lions and many others including the general public of course plus outstanding support from the local press who regularly contribute on their twitter feed @GrimsbyLive and through their website GrimsbyTelegraph.co.uk Cath and Ken are able to make bulk food purchases from the cash and carry in order to cook the Sunday lunches and Wednesday hot dogs. Support is always helpful of course but when you’re volunteers providing a no cost service I’m sure you’ll agree that the support is pretty vital.
Alas, it’s not just a case of ‘turn up for work, cook, serve and leave’! There isn’t a kitchen in the centre so Cath cooks everything at home then transports it to 18 Clethorpes Road, Grimsby where she, Ken and their volunteers prepare for service from 11.30am through until around 1.30pm. The additional voluntary help is essential if everything is to run smoothly. Cath and Ken are always on hand to ‘dish out’ the smiles, hugs and support to those who need it and guide people to other agencies for additional support when required. I can imagine that the room is normally full of chatter and laughter but, with the Covid-19 outbreak they have had to adapt to a take-away service and social distancing. That must be difficult on many levels I’m sure.
I had a lovely chat with Cath yesterday and she explained how everything works. Although it’s very generous of people to turn up with a food parcel you can imagine the storage needed for small items of perishable foods – it just isn’t practical. The new Wednesday Hot Dog lunch sessions alone will need around 150 sausages each week so bulk buying is really the only practical way forward for this project.
Having chatted with Cath I can tell you now that she just isn’t the sort of person who will ask for glory, praise, recognition…… or cash! So, on her behalf, I’ll ask for her. If you can spare ‘any’ cash please get in touch via Facebook Grimsby Food Kitchen or Twitter @CathHomewood to make your own arrangements. Let’s also keep in mind that the GFK isn’t the only charity in the County that needs your financial help so if you would like to make a donation to a charity in your local area perhaps this short blog will have helped to jog your memory.
I would also like to say a special thanks to @GrimsbyLive for the use of their pictures for this blog.
“Never Betray Anyone’s Trust”
When dealing with people it’s important to be approachable and trustworthy. That applies every day of course but when you’re talking to vulnerable people it’s important that they are able to trust you. Cath told me that she won’t tolerate ‘he said, she said’ conversations where people are talking about others. It’s probably fair to say that the people who are turning up for food are like an extended family so when they need help or advice they need to know that the person they are talking to will be there for them. In Caths’ own words “never betray anyone’s trust” seems doubly important.
Bless you Cath and Ken, you’re doing a fantastic job. Keep smiling and keep cooking.
Did Someone Say Food?
This year the Louth Pie Day (#LouthPieDay) had a bit of a setback. Just about to celebrate it’s second year….. and then we had the lockdown for Covid-19. Not to be disheartened Justine and Kiat made a subtle change to the hashtag and called it #VirtualLouthPieDay. What a brilliant idea! The idea of Louth Pie Day is to encourage visitors to visit the various shops in Louth to sample and buy a variety of pies and if there is any competition going on I certainly wouldn’t like to have to select an overall winner from the many entries. What’s your idea of a pie? Is it a pork pie? What about a steak and ale pie? Vegetarian pie or vegan pie? Oh yes, and then there’s the fruit pie of course…
Unfortunately the shops were closed for customers this year so there were no pies to be bought. However, the #VirtualLouthPieDay was conceived and facebook and twitter followers were invited to make their own pies and share pictures of their creations on the Facebook and Twitter @LouthPieDay pages. If you would like to see what happened just type in #VirtualLouthPieDay to your search bar on twitter or Facebook to see all the pictures and comments. You might also like to follow the pages to make sure you don’t forget to enjoy the fun next year.
The #LincsConnectJobs hashtag is still live so if you have any jobs to advertise Just add in the hashtag to your advert and tweet it or post it on Facebook.
If you’re considering a carer in teaching, recruitment is still going ahead for 2020 via Zoom. If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org today for a Zoom link and an appointment. Don’t let Covid-19 deter you. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Are You A Reader?
Author Lynette Creswell has several books to her name already and has now produced a book of short stories which is due to be released very soon. Being dyslexic I much prefer to read short stories so this book will be perfect for me. Do you have a preferred genre or do you just pick up a book that takes your fancy at the time? I know some people can read a whole book in a weekend (or even faster) but I’m afraid a ‘normal’ sized paperback can take me up to a year to read. It’s odd that I can enjoy writing so much and can plan a blog like this one in my head in seconds and take around half a day to research it, put it together and post it but when it comes to reading….. Well, a year to read a paperback kind of tells you what I’m like at reading!
I’ve been invite to the ‘Cover Reveal’ for the new book of short stories titled ‘Cat Thief’ and I’m pleased to be able to extent that invitation to you too. Don’t worry, it’s all online so we’ll all be safe and secure; Hopefully I’ll see you (virtually) there on Saturday 2 May from 11.00am to 12.30pm
I’m certainly looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality and I’m sure everyone else is too. With that in mind, I’ll leave you with a gift voucher idea that’ll give you something to look forward to. You can buy your voucher now and look forward to enjoying a bespoke massage from the comfort of your own home later in the year. What’s not to like? If you would like to order your e-voucher just email email@example.com
Stay Safe everyone