NorwichSoupRun1600
Norwich Soup Run - Norwich Citadel Salvation Army

The Norwich Soup Run functions every night of the year, with the exception of Christmas day. Based at the Charity Stall at the bottom of the Haymarket (opposite Primark), teams of volunteers serve food and drink to people in need from 8.30pm.


Norfolk feeds 5000logo243The Soup Run is co-ordinated by the Norwich Citadel Salvation Army and involves 14 different churches on the rota as well as numerous volunteers who approached the Salvation Army directly.

Numbers vary from 30-50 guests each evening, and a range of sandwiches are available, as are cakes, soup, hot chocolate, tea and coffee. This “staple” menu is sometimes reinforced by gifts of fresh fruit and other goodies.

This community initiative is made possible by more than 180 dedicated volunteers. The volunteers are divided into teams which are then responsible for a night of the week. While The Salvation Army’s church on St Giles Street coordinates the project, many local churches host an evening. Some teams prepare their own food but The Salvation Army has a central supply. Regular supporters of The Salvation Army’s Soup Run include Waitrose, the Co-op, Pret a Manger and Greggs.

In addition to food, volunteers offer a listening ear and compassionate support as well as warm clothing, footwear, sleeping bags and blankets as they are available.

Major Barry Willson, The Salvation Army’s Soup Run Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “The Soup Run is a great example of local people working together to support local people in need. Our guests have a variety of needs – some may be experiencing homelessness, some may be sleeping rough, while others may be living in accommodation but struggling to make ends meet.

“Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds – some belong to a local church, others do not. Anyone is welcome to volunteer, although we do have a short waiting list. If you’d like to see how you can support our work we’d love to hear from you.”

There are close links between this evening provision and The Salvation Army’s week day Pottergate Advice and Refreshment Centre (ARC). The ARC is a drop-in centre which supports people in need by facilitating engagement with appropriate services and learning activities. Both the ARC and the Soup Run are members of the “MARS” group (Multi-Agency Rough Sleepers). This group meets monthly and consists of representatives from both the voluntary and statutory sector who work together to respond to local homelessness.

Factfile


Project: Norwich Soup Run
Who:  homeless and local people in need
What: Soup, sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks served every day
Where:  Haymarket, Norwich
How many: 30 – 50 people every night (1,200 per month)
Contact: Major Barry Willson 07512 797260 or barrywillson46@btinternet.com

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About the project


Norfolk Feeds 5000 is a research project which aims to establish the extent to which the Christian community across Norfolk is meeting the simple command of Jesus to "feed the hungry".

Christian churches, groups and individuals across Norfolk meet the needs of the hungry and the thirsty every day of the year through foodbanks, free community meals, homeless projects, soup runs, Messy Church and other activities.
 
A simple survey has been conducted to attempt to quantify the extent to which this is happening and the findings of the survey will be published here, including many of the stories about the projects which feed people throughout Norfolk.
 
The project is supported by Celebrate Norfolk, Network Norfolk, Christian Aid, the Diocese of Norwich, Good News for Norwich & Norfolk and Bright Map and is named after the Bible story of the Feeding of The 5000.

If your Christian food-related project is not featured in our case studies and you would like us to include you, please send details, a fact file, a picture and web links to us by clicking here

The research and reporting team behind NorfolkFeeds5000 is from Network Norwich & Norfolk: Jenny Seal, Helen Baldry, Tony Rothe & Keith Morris.

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