A local Bournemouth resident, Claire Matthews, set up Hope for Food, a volunteer run organisation, in 2012 that has gone from helping two homeless people to 80, in the space of four years.
Claire’s charity aims to help the homeless by running soup kitchens three times a week in Bournemouth and providing other essentials where they can.
Additionally, Claire’s organisation arranges a yearly Christmas meal for the homeless. The four course meal takes place in December and is provided for entirely by volunteers.
At the meal, up to 80 people are provided with rucksacks containing sleeping bags, gloves, scarves and anything donated by the public.
When asked about what resources are vital to the running of the charity, Claire Matthews responded with “we always need food.”
In addition, Claire is also urging people to step forward as volunteers.
“We get volunteers at Christmas, but we need them all year round and we are always desperate for cooks”, explains Claire.
Helping the homeless is a life long effort for Claire and isn’t just attempted at Christmas.
With the number of homeless people in the UK rising, this point becomes more meaningful.
When the charity started in 2012 it was helping two people but now the charity feeds 80 people each day at their soup kitchens, reflecting the national trend.
Claire added: “Christmas is more family orientated, it’s when you speak to young children as young as five and six and ask them what do you want from Santa? And they respond with ‘food’, it’s hard.”
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