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Support for the York homeless this Christmas from Nisa

HOPING Street Kitchen has received another boost in its efforts to feed and clothe the city’s homeless this Christmas with a £1,000 donation from Nisa, through their charity Making a Difference Locally.

The donation will help provide sleeping bags, roll mats, thermal gloves, hats and underwear for those facing the winter on the streets.

The HOPING charity, which is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, received a major boost last month when the University of York stepped in to offer the grounds of King’s Manor as the base for HOPING to serve hot food and provide friendship for rough sleepers on Sunday evenings. The charity had been homeless itself after lockdown.

Support for the York homeless this Christmas from Nisa Front of store with fascia

And the university is behind this latest donation too.  Jane Anness, head of campus catering and retail, explains: “We are well aware of the excellent life-saving work that HOPING delivers in the community. So when colleague Stuart Reeve mentioned that campus convenience store Nisa was keen to support local charities through Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally (MADL) charity scheme, we were delighted that he nominated HOPING. As a result they have received £1,000.”

More than £14m has been raised by Making a Difference Locally for good causes across the UK to date and the charity was recently awarded Symbol Group Community Initiative of the Year at the SLR Awards 2021.

Jayne Venables, who helps lead the HOPING team, says the money will boost comfort for our homeless friends this Christmas. “As well as equipment and clothing for those who find themselves out on the streets, the money will also go towards buying ingredients for hot seasonal meals and for additional festive treats.

“We receive no local or national government funding so rely entirely on the kindness of individuals, businesses and other charities to carry on our vital work. We are constantly touched by the wonderful generosity we see from those fortunate enough to be in a position to help.”

Support for the York homeless this Christmas from Nisa Colleagues in front of MADL poster holding donations

HOPING volunteers open the street kitchen each Sunday from 6.30 at King’s Manor off Exhibition Square, and provide nourishing hot food, warm clothes and a listening ear to all those in need.  Jayne continues: “By being out on the streets ourselves, we establish a bond and rapport with rough sleepers and those on the cusp of homelessness. This enables us to help signpost them to other organisations in the city who can provide them with the practical, social and mental health support they need.”

Commenting on the work of the charity, The University of York’s vice-chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with HOPING Street Kitchen by providing them with a space to continue their vital work supporting the city’s homeless community.

“The University of York was founded with a strong social purpose, and we continue to seek collaborations that bring communities together. This latest partnership underlines our commitment to being a University for Public Good.”

Helen Walker, Charity Marketing Manager for MADL says: “MADL are delighted to support such a worthy cause through the local Nisa store. Thank you to shoppers, who through purchasing Co-op own brand products have supported their community, as without their purchases these donations would not be possible.”