Soup Run to remain despite Norwich council plan
There is hope that the church-organised Soup Run which has been feeding the homeless in Norwich city centre for the past 30 will be able to continue, despite a plan by Norwich City Council to remove one of the charity stalls on Hay Hill. Keith Morris reports.
The council plan to “permanently remove” the larger of the two covered charity stalls at the top of Hay Hill, due to its age and condition, was revealed by the EDP earlier this week.
A council spokesman said: “Currently there are several organisations that use the two market stalls on Hay Hill to distribute food, when the stalls are not occupied in the evenings. We are not asking these organisations to move on, or to close their activities on Hay Hill.
“We understand the removal of the one stall might cause difficulties for some of the groups, so the council will be donating some tables to help them.”
The long-established Soup Run, based at the smaller stall, next to the Haymarket, 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. Over 180 volunteers help feed between 30 and 50 people every night.
Responding to the news of the council plans, a Salvation Army spokesperson said: “The soup run we coordinate has a licence to use the charity stall at the front of the Haymarket.
“Our soup run team aims to provide food, drink and emergency supplies from the charity stall, while the Pottergate ARC is a safe and welcoming drop-in centre. Both services work together to provide immediate support for people in need with the aim of building positive relationships and effectively advising and signposting people to appropriate services on their journey towards independent living.
“We are not aware of any plans to remove the charity stall at the front of the Haymarket, and as such we will continue to coordinate our service with the support of other churches across the city.
“Tackling poverty and homelessness in Norwich is a priority for The Salvation Army, and we are committed to working with other agencies and organisations to ensure vulnerable people have access to the services they need.”
To find out more about the Soup Run, click here.
Pictured above is the Norwich churches Soup Run on Hay Hill/Haymarket.