Caption: Adam Plumb (third left) of the CWLEP Growth Hub, and Daniel Holland (fifth left), HR Coffee catering manager, with members of the Street Arts Project.

Member Article

Stratford-upon-Avon coffee shop is helping to feed the homeless

A coffee bar in Stratford is providing a meal kitchen for homeless people in the town after collaborating with a local community group during the pandemic.

HR Coffee bar in Windsor Street was approached by not-for-profit organisation, Street Arts Project, about providing meals to help the homeless and vulnerable people that they support in Stratford.

Catering Manager Daniel Holland decided to go one step further when other charitable food kitchens were closed in Stratford because of Covid-19.

Daniel, who has received business advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, is now helping homeless people by holding meal kitchens from Monday to Thursday and serving cooked breakfasts from Friday to Sunday as well as helping with their problems.

He said: “I spoke to Jackie Lines, a Co- Founder of Street Arts Project who asked if we could help with food and a support base for homeless people. She felt it was important that a healthy nutritious meal was provided during the pandemic and to offer somewhere to go each day to be valued and supported with additional needs. The food is paid for by Birmingham-based charity Socks & Chocs, who support Street Arts Project. It has turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done.

“We feed about 25 people a day. It is food we cook for our customers so it is good quality and a high standard and any food that is remaining is put into boxes so they can take it away and eat it at a later date.

“It has really inspired me to help out in other ways. We are gaining their respect and we are signposting people for advice with issues around health, housing and agency support.

“We are working with Street Arts Project to start a cookery course to teach the homeless and vulnerable basic cooking skills and an art class to create designs for merchandise on the Street Arts Project website. It is all about giving them a purpose to live and a voice.

“The project is really working and now we’re looking at how we can expand by helping them to secure apprenticeships with local businesses.”

Adam Plumb, of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said businesses such as HR Coffee are an integral part of their communities in various ways.

He said: “The Growth Hub is here to help businesses by offering advice to access grants and loans but we provide much more than that by listening to the problems they are experiencing to help them resolve them so that they can plan for the future with confidence.

“Daniel is providing a similar service to a group of homeless and vulnerable people in Stratford and it is great to see that it has been well received.

“Despite the tough times over the last 12 months for the business community, there is still a great deal of kindness being shown and Daniel and his team typify that with the range of help they are providing.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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