Festive banquets provide warmth and shelter for homeless in Skegness

Volunteers Jean Allen and Shirley Noble checking the vegetables at the festive lunch held at the Storehouse in Skegness for the homeless. ANL-171227-152108001
Volunteers Jean Allen and Shirley Noble checking the vegetables at the festive lunch held at the Storehouse in Skegness for the homeless. ANL-171227-152108001

Homeless people found shelter from a storm and a warm welcome when volunteers provided them with a festive banquet.

The Storehouse provided a welcome retreat for men and women on Wednesday who had been struggling with the change in weather after the mild Christmas holiday.

Volunteer Korallou Antoniou (right) sits down to a festive meal at the Storehouse with some of the town's homeless residents. ANL-171227-152752001

Volunteer Korallou Antoniou (right) sits down to a festive meal at the Storehouse with some of the town's homeless residents. ANL-171227-152752001

It was the first of two events held last week - the second one took place yesterday (Saturday).

James Grogan has been homeless for two years. He said: “It’s no use trying to live in a tent when the weather is like this.

“I have a sleeping bag but it got wet last night. I took it round to friends to dry it out and get a wash and he told me about this lunch.

“I think today’s lunch is amazing.”

Volunteers Jean Allen, Shirley Noble and Korallou Antoniou check the oven ahead of the festive meal for the homeless at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152652001

Volunteers Jean Allen, Shirley Noble and Korallou Antoniou check the oven ahead of the festive meal for the homeless at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152652001

About a dozen homeless people and the volunteers who had taken time out from their own festive celebrations sat down to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding.

The food was donated by the Grosvenor House Hotel, including a donation from the Skegness Standard through the Buckingham Emergency Food charity. A donation of £1,100 from Charlie’s Team also contributed to meals provided by the Storehouse over the festive period.

Debby Harland, Restore co-ordinator at the Storehouse, said: “We can’t thank people enough for the donations, which as well as providing hot meals allowed us to provide Christmas dinners in parcels to the town’s most needy.

“We are also lucky to have such a marvellous band of volunteers who have turned out to help cook and serve the meals.”

Volunteer Kay Ellis helping to serve up the Christmas dinner for the homeless at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152623001

Volunteer Kay Ellis helping to serve up the Christmas dinner for the homeless at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152623001

Maria (Pirate Kate) Hansford raised a glass of sparkling grape juice to the team behind the lunch.

She said: “On behalf of everyone here I want to thank the Storehouse for everything they do for us.

“When I came to Skegness I was homeless and they gave me a warm welcome and helped me get back on my feet as they do everyone who comes here when they are going through a bad time.

“Without them we couldn’t survive.”

A volunteer serves vegetables during a festive meal for the homeless at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152714001

A volunteer serves vegetables during a festive meal for the homeless at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152714001

l Thanks to the generosity of local people a further lunch was held on Saturday. The Grosvenor House Hotel provided 1,650 meals, including the donation from the Skegness Standard, to the needy and elderly over the Christmas period. One of the donations also contributed to a festive lunch provided by the Salvation Army

Maria (Pirate Kate) Hansford raises a glass of grape juice to the volunteers and staff at the Storehouse, Skegness. ANL-171227-152738001

Maria (Pirate Kate) Hansford raises a glass of grape juice to the volunteers and staff at the Storehouse, Skegness. ANL-171227-152738001

Skegness' homeless found a warm welcome and a festive meal at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152727001

Skegness' homeless found a warm welcome and a festive meal at the Storehouse in Skegness. ANL-171227-152727001