We have seen an increase in demand for our service, and whereas last year we were seeing around 55-60 guests use the service, now it is 90-100 per week. Due to the cost of living crisis, we have seen our outgoings increase, including the cost of food. The donations will mean that we can continue to provide a good quality meal for our guests, and also with essential clothing and toiletries.
The Sunday Centre opens its service on a Sunday afternoon at the Lower Hall of the Victoria Hall, Sheffield city centre. This year, we will open for 50 Sundays of the year, as another service takes over during the festive period.
We provide a hot healthy meal and a bag of food for our guests to takeaway with them (including bread and butter, two pieces of fruit, carton of fruit juice and a treat/cake), bottles of water and hot drinks.
We also offer essential toiletries, sanitary items, and clothing for those in need, as we have seen an increase in the number of people who are soaking wet, cold or dressed inadequately for the cold weather.
Our project serves those people who are in Sheffield city centre on a Sunday who are in serious need. Some of the people who come to us are sleeping rough, others have somewhere to stay but it is very uncertain (e.g., sofa surfing). Many of our guests do have somewhere to live but have little or no money. In some cases that poverty is compounded by issues like under-managed mental health conditions or substance use.
We regularly have people say that our food is the first they have had that day, and, in some cases, they describe longer periods with no food. We focus on meeting the most basic of human needs (food and essentials) but also tackle the poverty of dignity that many of our guests face by being friendly and welcoming of those who are not always treated in that way.
Donations make a positive change to the people who use our project and would enable us to keep operating to provide the service we currently offer.
We will continue to keep a record of numbers of guests using the service and provide reports of the positive changes donations have made to our guests.