Norwich church's homeless project cash boost
By Keith Morris
2010: Homeless people will be able to continue to enjoy a free meal and laundry facilities on Sunday afternoons at a Norwich
city centre church with the help of a grant of £1000 from Sport Relief.King’s Community Church
in King Street, runs the King’s Care
project on Sunday afternoons, helping to feed up to 60 homeless people and rough sleepers.
King’s Care started in 2000, when members of King’s decided to help the city’s homeless and disadvantaged people. They wanted to be very practical in providing a meal, clothes, laundry facilities and showers to people who did not have ready access to these things.
Consultation with other service providers in the city indicated a gap in provision on Sundays and so this became the initial focus for the work.
Project worker Tim Hughes spends three days a week on the scheme, he said: "We were very pleased to receive the grant. No other agencies are able to offer a laundry service to our clients at the moment, so it’s great to be able to meet a real need and support what others are doing too.
"We’re continuing to see people overcoming life-controlling issues, and any help we get like this enables us to do more. There’s a lot of pretty magical things happening in Norwich.
“We currently have around 50 volunteers from all walks of life – some of whom have come through the service themselves. There are four Sunday teams, a smaller Tuesday team, and the team who run Loose Change Theatre.”
The project gained charitable status 18 months ago.
Malcolm Jackson, fundraiser coordinator, said it was “wonderful” news that they had won the money. He said: “It's come quite out of the blue and we are very grateful.
“The YMCA and Salvation Army do not provide for the homeless on a Sunday so we have tried to fill that gap.
“We have about 50 homeless people turn up every week and we provide them with a meal and they tend to stay for the rest of the afternoon and use the laundry facilities.”