The Evening Café was developed to combat the difficulties and isolation that the winter months can bring to many of our customers. It provides a free, hot meal in an environment of warmth and safety and is a vital service to many of our customers.
Although we were in the midst of a pandemic it was important to deliver the service in a way that supported the customers that were still in need of the service for one reason or another.
The winter months will always bring its fair share of challenges and this year had the same challenges as any other year
but were exacerbated by the pandemic. Each year we receive amazing support from the local community in the form of warm clothing, footwear, winter blankets and other seasonal items. These help us to ensure that our customers can stay warm and dry during the most severe winter months and the community came through once again.
This year we renamed the Evening Café Service to the "Alternate Winter Provision" as we knew it would be very different to previous years. We ramped up the number of meals that we donated at Christmas partly because we were unable to have a Christmas day Provision. We had a list of volunteers who put themselves forward to deliver the meals, alongside activity packs to help with the issues associated with lockdown and isolation.
Families who are struggling have had frozen and/or Chilled meals delivered that would last a couple of weeks. Working with a number of community groups there has been an identification of individuals who have been struggling year on year and through the pandemic, this has become known.