HOUSE of Bread was the brainchild of Stafford man Matt Turner.
He was concerned that homeless and vulnerable people were struggling to get the help they needed.
Many would visit the town’s Trinity Church where Matt was a worshipper and ask if they could get some sort of help.
Matt was determined to do something to help. He had the seed of an idea in his head and set about making it a reality.
“A couple of us went out walking the streets looking for homeless people,” he said.
“We went everywhere and were surprised at how many people we actually encountered and we spoke to them about our ideas.” Matt and some volunteers from the church originally opened up for the first time at St Mary’s Mews in September 2010 and were surprised by the number of people who turned up.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength, moving to a bigger venue within Trinity Church.
Each Wednesday evening the room is open for anyone to drop in for a hot meal, which could include jacket potato and Bolognese and crumble for dessert.
Visitors are served at their table as if in a restaurant and they can stay there between 6pm and 8pm, eating and chatting with volunteers and other diners.
They leave with a food bag and can get clothes from the organisation’s clothes bank, opened thanks to donations from the public.
Sometimes the organisation can also hand out sleeping bags and blankets if they have been donated and at times have even given out tents.
As far as volunteers are concerned their remit is to buy, prepare and cook meals, help serve and chat with guests.
“It’s amazing how things have taken off but we want to reach out to more people,” aid Matt. “We are not just a soup kitchen, we are so much more than that. “Our next goal is to get our own building and then we can open up on a second night and perhaps get even more people involved.
“We have always been such a small organisation and we often feel we aren’t reaching as many as we could be.” Matt said he and other volunteers were thrilled the Newsletter was supporting them for the Christmas appeal.
“We hope that it will put us on the map and make more people aware of us,” he said. “Our aim is to double or even treble the number of people being able to benefit from this service.
“They don’t need to be homeless, they don’t even need to be living in poverty.
They may just need some help or support or someone to talk to. Whatever it is if they come they will be made welcome.
“Any donations that people can make towards the appeal would be fantastic.
“We feel it is important to open on Christmas Day to help as many people as possible enjoy a meal and get a small gift that will be useful to them.”